Neely Tucker's debut fiction novel The Ways of the Dead.
"If this is Tucker's first novel, I can't wait for what's coming next." - Michael Connelly
I love opening scenes that grab my attention right away and have me wondering what's next...
1999. Teenager Sarah Reese takes lessons from a celebrated dance instructor in Washington, DC. But the studio is on the wrong side of the tracks. And Sarah is in the wrong place at the wrong time.....
Sarah's case garners lots of attention as her father is the Chief Judge of the Federal Court. And it catches the eye of reporter Sullivan Carter as well. But Sully sees a bigger picture - there's more to this story. And no one seems to want him to uncover it....
The best protagonists for crime books are the walking wounded, the ones who buck authority, the ones who just can't let things be or let justice go unserved. Sully Carter fills the bill on every count. He's battling PTSD, alcohol and anger issues, his bosses and manages to step on toes everywhere he goes. He's also a confidant of the one of DC's crimelords. Flawed but driven.
Neely's dialogue is effortless and believable. The plotting was really, really good. Actual events in the 1990's were the inspiration behind the book. But Neely takes his novel in directions I didn't predict. (another big plus)
Neely's background is rich and wide and varied. His own experience as a journalist is evident in his writing. Neely's descriptions of time and place were vivid and I had strong mental images of the streets and back alleys of the neighbourhood.
The Ways of the Dead is gritty, grim and oh so good. I wholeheartedly agree with Michael Connelly's blurb - I too will be watching for the next book in this series. Read an excerpt of The Ways of the Dead.
You can find Neely Tucker on Facebook and on Twitter.
And thanks to the generosity of Viking Books, I have a copy of The Ways of the Dead to giveaway to one lucky reader! Simply leave a comment to be entered (and a way to contact you). Open to US only, no PO boxes please. Closes July 19/14.