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.
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.
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
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)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Aubrey Nye Hamilton ©2023
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.