Hidden in Plain View: A Darryl Billups Mystery

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9780380974214: Hidden in Plain View: A Darryl Billups Mystery

With the release of Up Jumped the Devil, Blair S. Walker had a highly praised mystery debut that featured sleuthing Baltimore newspaperman Darryl Billups. Now the African-American journalist returns in his second suspenseful tale that puts him on the trail of a cunnning serial killer.

Some tisted soul is killing young African-American professionals in Baltimore. The vitims are being discovered nude in their bathtubs, cause of death unknown, their faces defilded with Confederate flag decals. Charging into this baffling state of affairs comes journalist Darryl Billups, fresh from solving a rash of neo-Nazi bombings and murders that terrorized the city. Darryl's life is on the upswing- he's growing closer by the day to his live-in-love, Yolanda, and her young son, Jamal. Plus Darryl's been promoted to management at the "Baltimore Herald".

But when he gets a tip about the Confederate flag murders from a friendly detective. Darryl temporarily abandons his editing duties and eagerly returns to the world of reporting.

Relying on investigative tricks learned over the years-and a few ad-libbed out of necessity-Darryl unwittingly places himself within the deadly orbit of the killer, who also claims a young black doctor in Atlanta. It's not long before Darryl's probing begins to have surreal impacts that put his career, and life, in jeopardy. A consequence of taking on a crafty murderer who's placed Darryl's name on "Satan's Guest List"-a list of those slated to die. As sensational and heart-pounding as the first Darryl Bilups mystery HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW is a breathtaking chase into a twisting labyrinth of tormented emotions, misguided passions, revenge and destruction.

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Review:

Darryl Billups calls Baltimore "the world's biggest country town," and he's drawn to it like a magnet. He gained sensational success as a crime reporter for the (fictional) Baltimore Herald, where he exposed the neo-Nazi who tried to blow up the NAACP headquarters, an event chronicled in Up Jumped the Devil. Following this stint, Billups tried his luck as a reporter in New York. But the offer of a management job at the Herald and a $15,000 raise has brought him back to Baltimore, where he remains the hottest thing to hit that town since the Homicide television series.

Darryl's hopes for a quiet life are disturbed when someone begins killing people--all young, all African American, all upwardly mobile--and decorating their faces with decals of the Confederate flag. The tough old police detective who worked with him on the NAACP bombing case lets Darryl break the story to the country. Meanwhile, the killer--(who incidentally gets turned on by Jerry Springer)--gradually emerges from the shadows complete with a catalog of frightening surprises. The author knows his Baltimore, and he knows the inner-workings of a journalist's mind. He makes Darryl a most human and very interesting kind of hero. --Dick Adler

From the Back Cover:

After earning national acclaim for his story exposing a plot by domestic terrorists to blow up NAACP headquarters, The Herald rewards Darryl with an editorship, but it’s not long before he’s itching to escape the office and return to the streets as a cop reporter chronicling the misdeeds of Baltimore’s seamy underbelly. He gets his chance when the nude bodies of African-American professionals begin turning up around town, their faces ominously marked with Confederate-flag decals. At a loss for suspects, Baltimore homicide detective Phillip Gardner calls on his old friend Darryl to help with the serial-killer investigation. Tense, engaging, and utterly unpredictable, this second Darryl Billups thriller forces him to confront long-held notions about gender, race and the workings of the criminal mind. Billups rapidly learns to look at the world in a new way in a desperate bid to avoid becoming the killer’s most high-profile victim.

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Blair S. Walker
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