Crime Fiction Damnation Falls

ISBN 13: 9780752881843

Damnation Falls

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9780752881843: Damnation Falls

Randall Wilkes, his big-city journalism career in ruins, has returned after twenty years to Pilgrim’s Rest, the Tennessee hill town where he grew up. He has taken on a lucrative but low-prestige writing job for Sonny McMahan, a former governor and Randall’s boyhood friend, whose own career is under a shadow and who needs a ghost-written autobiography to ease his way back into politics. Randall encounters Faye McMahan, Sonny's mother, who is addled with age, imagining that her dead husband is alive and worrying that her son might be in danger. Hours later, amid a violent autumn storm, Randall finds Faye murdered, hanging by the neck from a bridge over the town landmark called Damnation Falls. Within days, a second murder, even more grisly than the first, targets another member of the McMahan clan. And the bones of a third, long-buried murder victim –a young woman—emerge from the earth.
         Randall has ties to all the victims, and the murders force him to acknowledge debts that go back decades. Drawing on his investigative skills and his roots in the region, he sets out to discover who is behind the killings. His search takes him from the flatlands of the Mississippi delta to the Great Smoky Mountains in the east. Tennessee is a state that was split by the Civil War, where history still lies close to the surface, and tales of murder and betrayal have weighed heavily on the town of Pilgrim's Rest. Before all the answers are in, more people will die, an old score will be settled, and the dead will finally tell their stories.

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From the Author:

   "Damnation Falls" represents a couple of firsts for me. It's my first non-series mystery, following the three John Ray Horn novels. It's also my first contemporary story (the earlier books are set in the Los Angeles of the 1940s). It's special to me in that it's my only novel so far set in the South, the region where I grew up. Some of the personal connections are obvious: The protagonist, Randall Wilkes, is a Southern boy who graduates from Vanderbilt University, as I did, and then pursues a newspaper career in Chicago, as I did. After his career spectacularly flames out (a fate I managed to avoid, I'm happy to say), he returns to the small town where he grew up, in an attempt to see how much has changed, both in the town and in himself. On the night he returns, the story takes a horrific turn, one I'll leave to the reader to discover.
   I too have been back to the South several times, and each time I find some things changed but the most important things, such as a strong sense of identity and community, still the same. Those who know Tennessee may recognize locations I've borrowed for the novel. The place I call the Colony is based in almost every detail on a spot called Beersheba Springs, a collection of vacation homes, all more than a century old, set on a bluff with a spectacular view. My wife and I were fortunate to meet one of the residents, who gave us the grand tour of the home he was restoring. His place is the model for Wilkes Cottage in the novel, where Randall's father lives. 
   "Damnation Falls" is about many things, among them a search through the past, the strengh of family, and the meaning of friendship. At some point while I was working on the book, I realized that one of the most pervasive themes was that of fathers and sons. That was when I decided to dedicate it to my father.

About the Author:

Edward Wright grew up in Arkansas and went to school in Tennessee and Illinois. He has been an officer in the U.S. Navy and an editor at the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times. His noir-flavored mysteries featuring John Ray Horn -- "Clea's Moon," "While I Disappear" (U.K. title: "The Silver Face"), and "Red Sky Lament" -- set in Los Angeles during the 1940s, have won the Shamus Award in the U.S. and the Debut Dagger and Ellis Peters Historical Crime Award in the U.K. His first non-series book, "Damnation Falls," a contemporary mystery-thriller set in small-town Tennessee, won the Barry Award. His latest novel, "From Blood," was named one of the best mysteries of the year by the Financial Times of London, and a U.S. edition is due in 2012. Although now a Californian, he retains a Southerner's love of barbecue and bluegrass music. He and his wife, Cathy, live in the Los Angeles area. edwardwrightbooks.com 

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Book Description Orion Publishing Co. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Damnation Falls, Edward Wright, A stunningly atmospheric contemporary stand-alone - about murder, madness and dangerous secrets in a small town Randall Wilkes, his big-city journalism career in ruins, has returned after twenty years to Pilgrim's Rest, the Tennessee hill town where he grew up. He has taken on a lucrative but low-prestige writing job for Sonny McMahan, a former governor and Randall's boyhood friend. Faye McMahan, Sonny's mother, is addled with age, imagining that her dead husband is alive and worrying that her son might be in danger. Amid a violent autumn storm, Randall finds Faye hideously murdered, hanged by the neck from a bridge over the town landmark called Damnation Falls. Within days, another person connected to the McMahan clan is murdered in an even more grisly fashion. And the bones of a third, long-buried murder victim - a young woman - have emerged from the earth. Randall's ties to the victims force him to acknowledge debts that go back decades. Drawing on his investigative skills and his roots in the region, he sets out to discover who is behind the killings. His search takes him the length of the state - a land once split by civil war, where history lies close to the surface and tales of murder and betrayal weigh heavily on the town of Pilgrim's Rest. Before all the answers are in, more people will die, an old score will be settled, and the dead will finally tell their stories. Bookseller Inventory # B9780752881843

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