Synopses & Reviews
Critically acclaimed novelist and award-winning short story writer Michael Malone is the smart, literate, compassionate voice of the American south. His gift for crafting the great American comedy, as he did in Handling Sin
, is matched only by his ability to create mystery novels ripped with tension, twists, and humanity.
A womans body has been found murdered, mutilated, tagged and addressed to Lt. Justin Savile V and Police Chief Cuddy R. Mangum. Dubbed the "Guess Who Killer" by a voracious press, Hillston, North Carolina, has a serial killer on its hands. The media and the mayor demand answers while the city lives in fear. Savile and Mangum are being taunted and stalked. Worse, they have no leads.
Plot driven in the classic sense of a bestseller, yet written with literary style and substance, First Lady is a novel you will want to read and savor yourself and share with a friend. Continuing the series begun with lauded novels Times Witness and Uncivil Seasons, Michael Malones return proves a thrilling success.
"It has been too long since we've had a novel from Malone, but it has been worth the wait. Leaving his alternate career writing for soap operas behind, Malone returns to Hillston, North Carolina, the scene of two previous novels, Uncivil Seasons and Time's Witness, and reprises the major characters of those books, Justin Savile and Cuddy Mangum. This time the two friends are fighting a crime wave and each other as they seek to stop a serial killer and save their own careers. While Malone sprinkles wry comments about the Old South-New South tussle throughout the novel, this is really a book about character and story—well-plotted, well-written, and with enough plausible twists to keep the pages turning with pleasure." Reviewed by Andrew Witmer, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
"Malone knows his turf, and his local politics are convincingly sketched in, with many welcome touches of humor." Publishers Weekly
"A story that moves toward a wonderfully satisfying payoff...with the power to make us want to pick up the book and start reading all over again." Alan Cheuse, NPR's "All Things Considered"
"Contemporary American crime fiction has no better stylist than Mr. Malone." Wall Street Journal
"Malone's gift for comedy is matched only by his ability to zero in on the darker underside of his character's live." Los Angeles Times
"[T]his very personal police procedural [is] rife with local color and memorable characters....If the murderer is too easily identified and some of the clues go unexplained, the reader will still relish this page-turner for the entertainment it provides." Library Journal
"Malone has a lot on his plate here, plot-wise, and at times the plethora of ingredients seems a bit much for even a master chef to handle. Still, if the plot is overstuffed, the interplay between the characters is wonderfully rich, and the portrait of the New South vivifies the familiar facts of recent social history. A welcome return from a writer who has been sorely missed." Bill Ott, Booklist
"Mr. Malone's twists and turns and surprises are downright phenomenal." The New York Times
"It's taken Malone a dozen years [to write this book]...but the excruciatingly long writing time has resulted in an award-caliber tale of murder, despair, and backroom deals....The result: gorgeous writing....Start buffing up those awards now." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A woman's body has been found--murdered, mutilated, tagged, and addressed to Lt. Justin Saville V and Police Chief Cuddy R. Magnum. Now Hillston, North Carolina, has a serial killer on its hands. A Mystery Guild Selection.
About the Author
Michael Malone has been compared to Cervantes, Dickens, and Henry Fielding. He is the recipient of the O. Henry Award for "Fast Love," the Edgar for Red Clay, and an Emmy as head writer of ABC-TVs One Life to Live. He lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina, with his wife, Maureen Quilligan, who is chair of the English department at Duke University.