Mark Phialas. Who Killed 20G? Williamsburg, VA: Cherokee McGhee, 2011.

Trent Jones is a has-been M.P. with a penchant for poker and scotch, and a passion for UNC basketball. The obsession with liquor and gambling means that he’s often drunk, broke, or some combination of the two, and that his best friend, Frank Williams, has to bail him out more often than not. Frank, a successful sports and entertainment agent, lives in New York City, a world away from the North Carolina haunts they used to frequent together. However, Frank keeps a vacation home at nearby Myrtle Beach, and after his latest slump, Trent wants a place to recuperate (or just more scotch, which Frank has in spades). Frank is angry about Trent’s downward spiral, but unable to deny his friend anything. However, rest and refreshment are last on the list for the wayward Tar Heels fan. One evening, out having a drink, Trent encounters Kenny “20G” Kincaid, the basketball head coach for the fictional Wellington University, located just north of Charlotte. Having recently lost $500 thanks to 20G’s losing streak, Trent decides to have a little word with Coach about his technique, a tactic that quickly turns into a fistfight. Trent wakes up the next morning hungover and sore with the intention of moving on. But he can’t; sometime during the night, someone murdered Coach 20G and Trent is suspect #1.

Things get worse when Trent receives a phone call from New York City: Frank Williams has also been murdered. These two homicides, unrelated at first glance, plunge Trent into a dangerous game of sleuthing and revenge that takes him to Arizona, New York City, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and even out to sea. To make matters even more unbearable for him, the action occurs during the NCAA play-offs, and Trent is convinced that this year the Tar Heels are going all the way. Can Jones find and eliminate his friend’s murderer, uncover what happened to 20G, and protect himself while still watching the Heels achieve victory? Find out in Phialas’ debut novel, which is hopefully the first of many. Trent Jones is a gruff, troubled, but highly likable and entertaining anti-hero; readers, especially fellow Tar Heels, will root for him from the start to the final buzzer.

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

2 Comments

Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Mecklenburg, Mountains, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Phialas, Mark, Piedmont, Suspense/Thriller

2 Responses to Mark Phialas. Who Killed 20G? Williamsburg, VA: Cherokee McGhee, 2011.

  1. John B. Williams

    Don’t know whether Mark reads these remarks routinely or not, so please forward this to him if possible. Mark, my wife and I are both from Wilkes County, and eagerly look forward to your next novel set in Wilkes. Both her maternal and paternal families, Anderson and Wood, go back many generations in Wilkes. My paternal grandmother was Mary Dula — the “Dooley” from the old song, and my paternal grandfather was born before the War of Northern Aggression. My maternal grandfather opened his dental office in North Wilkesboro in 1903, and my mother, who took over his practice, was one of the first female dentists licensed in the State of North Carolina. Look forward to communicating with you!

    John B. Williams

  2. Eileen McGrath

    This blog is owned by the UNC-Chapel Hill Library. I don’t know if Mr. Phialas reads it. If I am able to get in touch with him, I will pass your comments on.

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