Winner of the Hammett Prize and the Nero Award
From the wealthy suburbs to the remains of Detroit’s bankrupt factory districts, August Snow is a fast-paced tale of murder, greed, sex, economic cyber-terrorism, race and urban decay.
Tough, smart, and struggling to stay alive, August Snow is the embodiment of Detroit. The son of an African-American father and a Mexican-American mother, August grew up in the city’s Mexicantown and joined the police force only to be drummed out by a conspiracy of corrupt cops and politicians. But August fought back; he took on the city and got himself a $12 million wrongful dismissal settlement that left him low on friends. He has just returned to the house he grew up in after a year away, and quickly learns he has many scores to settle.
It’s not long before he’s summoned to the palatial Grosse Pointe Estates home of business magnate Eleanore Paget. Powerful and manipulative, Paget wants August to investigate the increasingly unusual happenings at her private wealth management bank. But detective work is no longer August’s beat, and he declines. A day later, Paget is dead of an apparent suicide—which August isn’t buying for a minute.
What begins as an inquiry into Eleanore Paget’s death soon drags August into a rat’s nest of Detroit’s most dangerous criminals, from corporate embezzlers to tattooed mercenaries.
Convincing smartass dialogue brings the Detroit denizens of poet and playwright Jones's first novel to life. Police officer August Snow was fired from the force for whistle-blowing on the city's mayor and a bunch of crooked cops. His wrongful dismissal suit got him $12 million. After traveling the world, he's home in Detroit's Mexicantown when he's summoned to posh Grosse Pointe by Eleanor Paget, the head of a private wealth-management and investment bank, whose husband he once investigated for embezzlement and murder. She's convinced someone's trying to take over her empire and wants August's help. When Eleanor turns up dead, a supposed suicide, the plot starts to go off the rails. In pursuit of justice, August and his buddies, armed with countless military weapons, take on hired assassins working for evildoers whose crimes against the bank include extortion, racketeering, and implausible cybercrimes. Strong prose and a hero with a distinctive multicultural background make up only in part for muddled storytelling.
“Viva Zapata, Motherf*ker!”
Motown’s own thriller scribe Stephen Mack Jones debut August Jones is snappy, fresh, spicy, briskly-paced and ultimately a Five Star triumph in the grand tradition of America’s best thriller/hero writers. Thanks to Kirkus Reviews for turning me on to what will be one of 2017’s best. It’s about time we have a hero from Mexicotown, a hero deserving of many more episodes. “Viva Zapata, motherf*ker!”