Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Cross Road Blues - Troy D. Smith

From the Perfect Crime Books website:

Roy Carpenter, blues-playing harmonica man
in 1957 Nashville, knows great music when he hears it.

He also knows a dangerous woman when he looks
at her . . . and finds her looking back.
Beautiful Sallymae's got a brutal husband,
just the kind of guy to wind up dead
with Roy taking the fall.

Here is a sharply observed novel steeped
in the atmosphere of character and place,
of sexual passion and the blues.

I read this novel a while back in manuscript so I could give Troy a quote for it, but I'm not sure I stated my opinion of it quite strongly enough.  CROSS ROAD BLUES isn't just one of the best crime novels I've read recently, it's one of the best crime novels I've read in a long time.  Roy is a great character, very human, very flawed, but at the same time someone the reader can't help but root for.  The other characters are very well-developed, too, and the setting is the sort of flawless recreation of a time and place that makes you think you've been there, even though you really haven't.  You need to read this one, and I recommend it very highly.

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