Blackmail, a secret organization hiding within the elite society of New Orleans, a white supremacist running for governor of Louisiana; these are the key ingredients in this fine Southern crawfish boil of a novel about guilt, privilege and racism in one of America's most exotic cities.
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Thomas Zigal is the author of the critically acclaimed Kurt Muller mystery series set in Aspen, Colorado. He is a graduate of the Stanford Writing Program and has published short stories and book reviews in literary magazines and fiction anthologies for the past 30 years. He grew up on the Texas Gulf Coast and in Louisiana and now lives in Austin, Texas.From Publishers Weekly:
Zigal, author of the Colorado sheriff Kurt Muller series, sets this gripping novel of racism, justice denied, retribution and redemption in the upper-class environs of New Orleans circa 1990. Paul Blanchard is CEO of the Blanchard coffee company, a family business that allows him to live a life of genteel ease. This pleasant existence is shattered when Paul's old college roommate, racist Mark Morvant, shows up and announces that he's running for governor, demanding not only that Paul bankroll his campaign effort but that he get the wealthy businessmen from the White League, a sinister secret society, to back him as well. Paul, a progressive Southerner, tries to resist, but Morvant threatens to reveal the dark secret Paul has been harboring - his black girlfriend in college died of a heroin overdose, and Morvant helped him dispose of the body in a bayou. To complicate matters, Paul's childhood friend, Jaren Jarboe, son of beloved Blanchard family retainer Rosetta Jarboe, took the fall for the death. As in any good Southern novel, present events are dictated by the past, and colorful characters from all stations of life perform both honorable and despicable acts. There's plenty of New Orleans lore and even a swipe at a JFK assassination connection in this solidly written, adroitly plotted and satisfyingly ethics-driven tale. (Feb.)
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