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(Willie Black, #1)
by Howard Owen
- Series: Willie Black, #1
- Format: hardcover, 240 pages
- Release date: July 2012
- Genres: mystery, fiction, contemporary, crime, thriller, suspense, cultural
- Author: Howard Owen
- ISBN: 9781579622084 (1579622089)
- First published: June 21, 2012
- Awards: Hammett Prize (2012)
- Publisher: The Permanent Press
- Language: english
About The Book
Willie Black is a newspaper reporter who has squandered a lot of things in this life — his liver, his lungs, a couple of former wives and a floundering daughter can all attest to his abuse. He’s lucky to be employed, having managed to drink and smart-talk his way out of a nice, cushy job covering (and partying with) the politicians down at the capitol.
Now, he’s back on the night cops’ beat, right where he started when he first came to work at the Richmond paper almost thirty years ago. The thing Willie’s always had going for him, though, all the way back to his hardscrabble days as a mixed-race kid on Oregon Hill, where white was the primary color and fighting was everyone’s favorite leisure pastime, was grit. His mother, the drug-addled Peggy, gave him that if nothing else. He never backed down then, and he shows no signs of changing.
When a co-ed at the local university where Willie’s daughter is a perpetual student is murdered, her headless body found alongside the South Anna River, the hapless killer is arrested within days. Everyone but Willie seems to think: case closed. But Willie, against the orders and advice of his bosses at the paper, the police and just about everyone else, doesn’t think the case is solved at all. He embarks on a one-man crusade to do what he’s always done: Get the story.
On the way, Willie runs afoul of David Junior Shiflett, a nightmare from his youth who’s now a city cop, and awakens another dark force who everyone thought had disappeared a long time ago. As a result, a score born in the parking lot of an Oregon Hill beer joint forty years before will finally be settled.
The truth is out there. Willie Black’s going to dig it out or die trying.
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