Richard Helms. Six Mile Creek. Detroit: Five Star, 2010.

Things are changing in Prosperity, North Carolina.  Farm land is being bought up to create upscale suburban developments, and longtime residents are uneasily adjusting to new neighbors who “aren’t from around here.”  Yes, there is tension in the air.  Still, police chief Judd Wheeler and everyone else is shocked when Prosperity has its first murder in almost a decade.

When the body of a young Latina is found at Six Mile Creek, Chief Wheeler’s investigation uncovers painful things about his community.  He’s known for some time that there are racial tensions at the school, but he is dismayed to learn from his son and his girlfriend, who is a high school teacher, the ugly way that racism mixes with drug use, snobbery, and teenage sexuality.  The town fathers want the murder solved, and solved in a way that places the blame on the victim and her community.  Wheeler won’t do that, but as he investigates the girl’s relationship with some star high school athletes, more violence happens–fights in the school, a horrific assault on a Latino boy, and the beating of an Anglo football player in a high school restroom.  Are all these crimes related?  Are they all the work of high school students, or are the students pawns in games played by others in the community?  And why does the Department of Homeland Security come to town?  The multiple strands of this dark mystery come together in a satisfying conclusion.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Helms, Richard, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

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