Monday, September 25, 2023

Aubrey Nye Hamilton Reviews: It Dies with You by Scott Blackburn

Scott Blackburn is an English instructor living in High Point, North Carolina. His debut novel, It Dies with You (Crooked Lane Books, 2022), is also set in North Carolina.

Hudson Miller was scraping a living as a bartender and a bouncer in Greensboro while he waited out a suspension from his boxing career. His boxing wasn’t much above mediocre but he worked at it and thought he could go somewhere eventually. A call from the police of Flint Creek, where he grew up, changed everything: his estranged father had been shot at his salvage yard on the edge of the community.

Hudson returned to the small town to learn that his father was killed in what appeared to be a burglary. Then the police discovered a cache of guns hidden in the office. Leland Miller had supplemented his income from used auto parts with trading illicit weapons, which increased the potential suspects and motives for the shooting.

The next surprise for Hudson was to learn that his father had left the property to him, hoping that he would continue to run it. Hudson knew nothing about automobile parts or the salvage business; he struck a deal with his father’s sole employee to run the yard while Hudson learned the ropes.

Within a few days the discovery of a body buried on the lot put both Hudson and his part-time employee under suspicion. The local police seemed only too willing to pin the crime on one or the other or both, even though no evidence pointing to either of them was found. They were outsiders and therefore eligible scapegoats in the small insular town. In self-defense Hudson starts looking into both murders and uncovers long-hidden secrets.

A fine piece of Southern noir. Fans of authors like Brian Panowich, Ace Atkins, and Chris Offutt will especially be interested.


·         Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (June 7, 2022)

·         Language: English

·         Hardcover: 304 pages

·         ISBN-10: 1643859390

·         ISBN-13: 978-1643859392


Aubrey Nye Hamilton ©2023 

Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.


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