Tag Archives: Drug dealers

Sherry Richburg. Love, Lies and Betrayal. Denver, CO: Outskirts Press, 2009.

lovelies&betrayal In this novel, we follow our protagonist, known on the streets as India, from age twelve until her mid-20s. Early on in the tale India, at age fourteen, leaves home for the streets and a reckless lifestyle. India immerses herself in a world of drugs by dating one of the most well-known drug dealers in the area, having no qualms about using her womanly wiles to get what she wants. By doing so, India quickly becomes widely known and respected on the streets. But, she hides all of this from her family. India claims to be living with her best friend when she is actually living with a man fifteen years older than her.

Throughout the novel India is confronted with the challenges her lifestyle brings about and she must make some tough decisions. However, she continually displays her strength and determination to be her own woman and run things her way. Everything seems to be going great for India; she has dodged several violent episodes and many confrontations with the law, even while others of her team are brought down. Then one day someone tries to rob her crew and everything goes downhill from there. Was it someone they trusted? Will India be able to overcome this challenge as she has done all others? Will her well-built team support her or turn on her?

Love, Lies and Betrayal is based on a true story and provides an explicit look into India’s lifestyle.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Piedmont, Richberg, Sherry, Urban Fiction, Wake

Jeff Tolley. Azalea Springs. United States: CreateSpace, 2012.

azaleaThe good people of Azaleas Springs know that they have a problem, and it’s one that they’ve had for a long time.  J.D. McIver and his family have run the town for decades–having their way in legal and political matters and amassing wealth and large landholdings.  As the mills around the town closed and outsiders came in to work at a new tire plant, McIver has held on to most of his power.

Even the lawyers in town have to do McIver’s bidding.  Russell Vaughan, the most respected lawyer in town, handles McIver’s real estate transactions, while Gary Tatum, the public defender, gets McIver’s grand-nephews, Rusty and and Ricky Wicker, out of legal scrapes, large and small.  But Rusty Wicker has gone big time–dealing in meth, heroin, and cocaine in a partnership with a foreign drug cartel.  Suddenly J.D.’s ability to launder money seems inadequate and a corrupt sheriff’s department is not so reliable in this tale of greed, racism, and revenge.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Piedmont, Tolley, Jeff

Stephen March. Hatteras Moon. New York: Köehlerbooks, 2013.

hatterasJack Delaney and Virgil Gibson became friends in high school, when star athlete Jack noticed Virgil’s dedication to the football team, even though Virgil would always be just a bench warmer.  Jack and Virgil did some dumb, crazy things together–like jumping off the bridge over Oregon Inlet.  But after high school they went their separate ways: Jack to Vietnam and Virgil to college.  Jack was injured in Vietnam and came back to the Outer Banks to be a fisherman like his dad.

But Jack remained a dare devil, and before long Jack began using the trawler he inherited from his father to smuggle marijuana.  Soon Jack has a large house on the beach, additional property, and a life that suits him, if not the government.  Meanwhile, Virgil has grown dissatisfied with his life.  Teaching undergraduates at a small college has lost its allure, and his marriage has grown stale.  More than a decade after high school, Virgil returns to Hatteras Island for the summer to re-assess his life.

Looking up his old friend Jack is among the first things that Virgil does.  Jack’s life looks attractive, even though Jack has money problems and is being threatened by one of his business associates.  Ever one to take a risk, Jack branches out into a new endeavor, one that brings him in contact with dangerous men with a different agenda.  When a simple shrimping trip turns deadly, Virgil plunges into a dangerous game of revenge.

Hatteras Moon is set in the late 1980s and some readers will be reminded of the Iran-Contra Affair by certain plot elements.  But a knowledge of Reagan-era foreign policy is not necessary to understand this dark tale of greed, loyalty, and revenge.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2013, Coast, Dare, March, Stephen, Mystery

J. Leon Pridgen, II. Hidden Secrets, Hidden Lives. New York: Strebor Books, 2011.

Travis Moore has been able to move beyond his troubled past.  As a high school student named Perry he became a drug runner, in part to keep his mother off the streets. His partner in crime was his good friend Kwame “Bone” Brown.  But while Perry kept his grades up and his street profile low, Bone wanted respect on the streets, dressing flashy and pushing the limits. Bone’s behavior eventually landed him in a juvenile detention facility.  As agreed, Bone did not give up Perry and in return Perry left Bone their remaining drug stash and all their cash.

As the years go by, Bone comes to believe that he got the raw end of the deal, and he plots revenge against Perry, now a college graduate, married man, and a financial professional for a large home improvement chain.  The crafty Bone uses his drugs and cash to lure old friends and a young boy that Travis has been mentoring into the plot against Perry/Travis.  Author Pridgen gives us a chilling look at how the desire for revenge can warp a person and how in tense moments each of us acts in our own self-interest.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Mecklenburg, Piedmont, Pridgen, J. Leon

Susan Donovan. I Want Candy. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2012.

Set just after the events of Cheri on Top, I Want Candy follows the misadventures of Cheri’s best friend Candace “Candy” Carmichael. Like Cheri, Candy was a high roller in Tampa’s real estate scene. When the market crashed and the girls lost everything, Cheri was the first to come crawling back to their childhood home of Bigler in the mountains of western North Carolina. Cheri’s return home went better than well– she’s happily engaged to her childhood sweetheart, and editor of the local newspaper, the Bigler Bugle.

Broke and crashing on the couch in her mother’s apartment at fancy retirement home, Candy can’t imagine what Bigler could offer. The answer comes in the form of the dashing Turner Halliday, Cataloochee County Sheriff and Candy’s former high school classmate. Turner has been in love with Candy ever since the seventh grade, but she seemed to see him as nothing more than a friend. Candy’s racist father, one of Bigler’s good ole boys, quickly put an end to any ideas the biracial Turner might have had about dating his blonde, blue-eyed daughter, too. But Jonesy Carmichael has been dead for years, and Candy is back in Bigler. When their first encounter leads to a steamy kiss, Turner begins to hope Candy might see him differently. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have as much time to think about Candy as he would like– Cataloochee County is becoming central to the production of illegal methamphetamine in North Carolina, and Turner is working overtime to bust the dealers. Additionally, Candy insists that she’s only staying in town long enough to regain her bearings before heading out to make more millions. Can Turner convince her that Bigler is more than just her past?

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Donovan, Susan, Mountains, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Romance/Relationship

Stuart Albright. Bull City. Durham, NC: McKinnon Press, 2012.

It was North Carolina’s most famous novelist, Thomas Wolfe, who said “you can’t go home again.”  But sometimes you have to.  Sid Ellison, a twenty-something, has built a nice life for himself in Asheville, North Carolina.  He has a good job, a loving wife, and a baby on the way.  But when his older brother, Tyrell, is arrested for a murder, Sid must return to his hometown of Durham to try to clear his brother.

Sid is not the only one who has to return to Durham because of the murder.  The victim’s sister, Malika Latif, an award-winning journalist, is now a faculty member at Columbia University in New York City.  Columbia is her alma mater, the place where she refashioned herself after she fled from her stifling family in Durham.  But she is indebted to her older sister Meena who first took her in when she left home, and Meena was the only person who understood about her high school romance with Sid Ellison.  When Malika’s mother asks her to come to Durham to mourn Meena, Malika knows she must go.

Malika and Sid’s high school relationship haunts them both, but those high school years also left Sid with friends who he can call on to help him clear his brother.  In a mix of past history and present day action, Sid and his friend Spencer work out what happened to Meena.  Character development is one of the strengths of this novel, but many readers will also enjoy the rich presentation of Durham–its history, its landmarks, its neighborhoods.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Albright, Stuart, Durham, Mystery, Piedmont

David C. Corbett. A Good Marine’s Murder. New York: iUniverse, 2006.

When Colonel Jack Adams’s Harriet jet crashes while on a routine training mission, the brass at the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point, North Carolina tap Colonel Dan Breakheart to lead the investigation.  Moments before the crash, Col. Adams reported that the engine was decelerating.  When the standard emergency procedures failed to correct the problem, Adams knew he had to eject, and that’s when he found out that the ejection seat didn’t work.  Breakheart thinks that the probability that one plane would have two such problems is low, so he suspects sabotage.  While Breakheart and his team painstakingly examine the remains of the plane, another officer is murdered.  Once again, Breakheart does not believe that this is a coincidence. Dogged investigation and a bit of daring-do enable him to crack the case.

David Corbett flew fighter jets for twenty-eight years, and readers who share this background will appreciate the details, terminology, and slang related to flying that are embedded in the storytelling.  At the back of the book, the author thoughtfully provides definitions for those unfamiliar with flying terminology.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2006, Coast, Corbett, David C., Craven, Mystery, Suspense/Thriller

Victor L. Martin. The Game of Deception. East Orange, NJ: Wahida Clark Presents Publishing, 2010.

At twenty-six Ghetti is beginning to tire of his life as a drug hustler in Durham, North Carolina.  It’s a dangerous life and it has been getting harder and harder to know who to trust. Still, Ghetti is surprised when a deal with two new customers–Arabs looking to make a big purchase–turns out to be a near-deadly setup.  Can it be that his young buddy Poo-Man has turned on him?

After Ghetti settles the score with his two dangerous customers, he hightails it to Goldsboro, North Carolina where he hides away with his cousin Mance.  There he plots his revenge against Poo-Man.  Back in Durham police detectives Amanda Hartford and Volanda Carter investigate the murder of two Arab men. A nosy neighbor leads them to Poo Man’s girlfriend, Maria.  Maria become one–but not the only–point where the officers’ professional–and personal–lives intersect with Ghetti’s.  The mistaken identities and hidden connections that fuel the plot of this book may remind readers of Elizabethan comedies, but Shakespeare and his contemporaries never wrote anything as X-rated as The Game of Deception.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Durham, Martin, Victor L., Piedmont, Urban Fiction, Wayne

Diane Chamberlain. The Good Father. Don Mills, Ontario: Mira Books, 2012.

Travis Brown is struggling. A single father at the young age of twenty-two, he loses his mother and home in Carolina Beach, North Carolina to a terrible fire. Beyond the grief of his mother’s death, Travis has also lost the only source of free, reliable childcare he has for his four-year-old daughter Bella. Without it, he can’t keep his job as a construction worker, and without work, he and Bella are quickly living on the edge of homelessness. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to reach out to Bella’s mother Robin, Travis’s high school sweetheart– Robin’s father forced Travis to sign a contract after Bella was born, swearing that Travis would never again seek to contact her.

Robin Saville is living in Beaufort, North Carolina. Born with a serious heart condition, her teenage pregnancy nearly killed her, but the recent gift of a new heart has given her new hope for life. Lied to by her father and believing Travis to be happily married, Robin puts him and her baby behind her, beginning work at a small bed and breakfast in the coastal town. She doesn’t expect to fall in love with Beaufort’s wealthiest son, Dale Hendricks, but she does, and they quickly  engaged. The Hendricks clan are a central pillar of Beaufort life: politically active and well-connected, they present a perfect facade to the rest of the world. That is, until teenaged Alissa Hendricks, the youngest and proverbial black sheep of the family, gets pregnant. Suddenly Robin can’t stop thinking of her baby, and what she gave up. But how could she ever have her daughter back in her life?

Living in a trailer park in Carolina Beach and relying on the kindness of a new neighbor to look after Bella, Travis fruitlessly searches for work. But then the neighbor, a beautiful woman named Savannah, mentions that a friend in Raleigh has sure construction work. All Travis has to do is pick up and go. It seems tenuous, but Travis is desperate, so he and Bella hit the road for the state capital. But when they arrive, the situation is much different, and much more dangerous, than Travis was lead to believe. He’s willing to do anything for Bella…but will he do something that means he might lose her forever?

In a style that readers of Diane Chamberlain have come to know and love, the author weaves together three separate voices and lives to create yet another beautiful tale of parents and children in the Old North State.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Carteret, Chamberlain, Diane, Coast, New Hanover, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Suspense/Thriller, Wake

Katy Munger. Bad to the Bone. New York: Avon Books, 2000.

Casey Jones is doing well: despite being an (unfairly convicted) ex-con, she has established herself as one of the Triangle’s premiere, if unofficial, private investigators. But when Tawny Bledsoe walks through her door, she gets a bad feeling. At first, Casey attributes this to the fact that the pale, fragile-looking Tawny is black and blue all over, and claims that her ex-husband first beat her, then stole their four-year-old daughter. Ms. Bledsoe begs Casey to get her child back, and with her special interest in wronged women, Raleigh’s toughest cookie is on the case. However, Tawny’s story begins to look suspicious after Casey easily tracks down the ex, and instead of a wife-beating kidnapper, finds a reputable Wake County Commissioner and devoted father who is a respected member of the African-American community. When Tawny’s $1,000 check bounces, Casey is convinced she’s been had in a spiteful divorcée’s spat. But then Tawny’s current beau (a scummy car mechanic named Boomer) turns up murdered, and Casey knows there’s more to the situation than simple fraud. As the P.I. snoops around, she uncovers several unsavory parts of Tawny: the cocaine addict, the blackmailer, and the abusive parent. When Casey’s no-good ex-husband Jeff gets involved, things quickly move from bad to worse, and the gloves come off as Casey goes to all lengths to put Tawny behind bars where she belongs.

Fans of the feisty, self-starting Casey Jones will enjoy this adventure, in which the fallible but lovable heroine faces a type of villain she hasn’t encountered  before, as well as turmoil in her romantic life,  but also puts some old troubles to rest.

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

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Filed under 2000, 2000-2009, Chatham, Durham, Munger, Katy, Mystery, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Wake