The mayor of Atlanta and a washed-up reporter investigate a series of assassinations, and uncover a conspiracy that reaches into the heart of the city's political machine.
Mayor Victoria Dobbs Overstreet is a Harvard-trained attorney and Spelman alum, married to a celebrated heart surgeon, mother to beautiful twin girls, and a political genius. When her mentor, ally, and friend Congressman Ezra Hawkins is gunned down in Ebenezer Baptist Church, Victoria finds a strange piece of origami–a “paper god”–tucked inside his Bible. These paper gods turn up again and again, always after someone is killed. Someone is terrorizing those who are close to Mayor Dobbs, and she can't shake the feeling that the killer is close to her, too.
"A moving and unflinching portrait of a city and its many layers of power...Taylor has created a hero we see all too rarely: black, female, powerful." —Tim Teeman, Senior Editor of The Daily Beast
"From buttermilk fried okra to bibles and bullets, the story comes out the gate moving and never lets up.” —Eric Jerome Dickey, New York Times bestselling author of A Wanted Woman
Strong characters with very human flaws drive this taut story of political skullduggery from Taylor (The January Girl). When long-serving black Georgia congressman Ezra Hawkins is assassinated in the pulpit of his church, the search begins to find both his replacement and his killer. Atlanta's black mayor, Victoria "Torie" Dodds, is Ezra's prot g and the obvious candidate to succeed him, but the town's white money, represented by a group called the League, has decided that they no longer favor Torie since Ezra let them down on a major transportation bill before Congress. Meanwhile, disgraced white reporter Hampton Bridges investigates the links between Torie and assorted major players, including the League's Virgil Loudermilk, a political kingmaker. The tension rises as the special election for Ezra's seat nears and more people die, including Torie's brother, Chip, who was fired from his job at the mayor's office after Hampton connected him to a drug lord. The only drawback to this crime thriller is that the political misconduct doesn't astonish as much as it might in today's real world of politics. 75,000-copy announced first printing.