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Jazz historian and wannabe PI Nick Travers comes to the aid of a young woman in trouble and gets in a lot more as a result in this lively caper involving the Dixie Mafia, a decades-old murder, political skullduggery, and a hit man who thinks he's Elvis's younger brother. A strong narrative and excellent sense of place pervades the newest outing in this good--and getting better--series, but what matters almost as much is the music both the author and his hero love, which reveals itself in the nicely cadenced prose and a plot featuring the old Delta blues men Atkins admiringly portrays. It all makes for an enjoyable evening of reading that would have been even better if they'd shipped a CD of the music Nick and his creator like best along with it. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
As a follow-up to the well-received Crossroad Blues, Atkins offers another fast-paced, hot and heavy Southern suspense yarn that only occasionally defies credibility. Nick Travers, a former professional football star who now teaches blues history at Tulane University, is approached by an old friend who wants him to locate her brother, Clyde James, a once famous blues singer who hasn't been seen for some 25 years and may be dead. In a seemingly unrelated event, a young woman visits the home of her parents who were murdered a few weeks before, collects some papers from a hidden safe, then is accosted by two thugs who take her to a Mafia-owned casino and try to force information from her that she doesn't have. Travers happens to be at the casino seeking word of Clyde James and spots the trussed-up woman on a TV monitor. He rescues her, killing a man in the process, and the two go on the run. The action doesn't let up, moving between Memphis and New Orleans as a plethora of Dixie mobsters, hit men, Klan-like Sons of the South and unsavory gubernatorial candidates are stirred and shaken. Some of the characters border on caricature, especially two of the villains, a woman named Miss Perfect and an Elvis-look-alike hit man. The only other false notes in this otherwise sharply observed thriller come in the confusing finale, a not very believable sting operation.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
It is hard to believe that an investigative reporter that had done much real life investigating could picture a bailbondsman/bounty hunter as a co-hero rather than a real (low)... Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2003 by William F. Mckee
I agree with Elmore Leonard, who, on the jacket of DARK END OF THE STREET, says that Ace Atkins is an ace of a writer. Read morePublished on Nov. 19 2002
...Nick Travers is a BLUES historian, not jazz. They are definitely not the same thing, unless you think Miles Davis sounds like Robert Johnson. Read morePublished on Oct. 31 2002 by Julia