Archive for the ‘Supreme Court’ Category

WaysOfTheDeadSully Carter is a newspaper man. He’s covered wars throughout the world and been hit with shrapnel, which has left its traces on him. He now covers crime in Washington, D.C. When the body of Sarah Reese, daughter of a Superior Court judge (and potential nominee for Supreme Court Justice) David Reese, is found in a dumpster behind a convenience store in the bad part of town, police from multiple agencies, local and federal, start investigating. The fact that over the past two years, several girls in their 20s have gone missing or have been found murdered within a five block radius have not stirred the police to investigate because those girls were Black, took drugs and some performed sex for money.

Sully happens to be close to the local drug lord/all around thug, Sly, who is not happy that the police are snooping around his neighborhood. It’s not good for business. They agree to trade information in the hopes that the killer will be caught quickly and the police move on to other crimes and neighborhoods. Are they truly sharing information?

Unfortunately, there  is bad blood between Sully and Reese, which in the eyes of the editors, will cloud Sully’s judgment as he investigates. Additionally, Sully has been hitting the bottle lately.

Such is the plot summary for The Ways of the Dead, Neely Tucker’s debut novel. Tucker, as well as his character, are experienced journalists. Sully is a moderately endearing character but his relationship with Sly seems a bit out of character. While I realize that journalists may cultivate some unsavory relationships, for me this one didn’t work and I’m not sure why. The newspaper’s editors, as well, didn’t have that hard hitting edge one would expect of high level editors. I think part of this results from the fact that I’m a big fan of Bruce DeSilva’s Liam Mulligan series. That, too, is newspaper themed. I like the characters, the setting, the cynicism, the political asides. The Ways of the Dead pales in comparison with regard to these aspects of the book.

The Ways of the Dead is a reasonable read. You’ll definitely want to finish it. Whether or not I’ll jump at the chance to read Tucker’s next book remains to be seen.


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