Tag Archives: Drug dealers

Mike Sanders. Thirsty 2. East Orange, NJ: Wahida Clark Presents, 2011.

Justice Dial is back in this bloody sequel to Thirsty, Mike Sanders’s novel about hustling on the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina. Beautiful, clever, and ruthless, Justice used to make loads of cash by seducing men, gleaning the location of their wealth, and passing on the information to her brother, Monk. But then it all went wrong, and in a terrible case of mistaken blame, her murderous, drug lord ex-boyfriend Carlos came after the brother and sister. Monk was killed, but Justice fled to Chicago.

Now Justice owns and operates a successful strip club but has never stopped plotting her revenge on Tan, the vicious drug dealer who killed her brother. The situation heats up when Justice returns to the Queen City to support her best friend Sapphire, whose mother is dying. Sapphire was a victim of a nearly fatal beating when Carlos’s crew thought she crossed them, and Carlos has been making restitution ever since he discovered her and Justice’s innocence. Sapphire has forgiven him, but Justice refuses, so Sapphire sees her best friend’s return to Charlotte as an opportunity to convince her of Carlos’s sincerity.

Meanwhile, Tandora Mendoza, daughter of the Mendoza crime family, is out for her own revenge. Robbed by Justice, Monk, and their gang, Tan has already eliminated one sibling, and now she’s waiting for her chance at Justice…before Justice can get to her first. The two women stalk one another through Charlotte and finally Chicago, surrounded by their henchmen and women. But who can they really trust? In the end, a true enemy may be the one they least expect. Justice must survive the hatred of those who want her dead, while fighting the love of the one man she swore never to forgive.

This novel contains graphic sexual and violent content.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Mecklenburg, Piedmont, Sanders, Mike, Suspense/Thriller

Charles Frazier. Nightwoods. New York: Random House, 2011.

When Luce is appointed guardian for her dead sister Lilly’s young twins, her reclusive life in the back woods of a small mountain town changes forever. Frank and Dolores are not like other children. Witnesses to their mother’s murder at the hands of her abusive boyfriend Bud, their short past holds trauma and darkness that few will ever experience. But Luce has, and while she will never be able to shower them with expressions of motherly love, she comes to understand them better than anyone else ever could. When they kill her roosters, light various items on fire, and refuse to speak, she teaches instead of punishing. By taking them on long rambles in the foothills, Luce endeavors to instill in the twins the great healing interacting with the natural world has provided her. She doesn’t use force or lecture them, just allowing the simple lessons of observation and wonder to sink in.

Bud is an unsuccessful, small-time criminal, embarrassed that he has to rely on his girlfriend Lilly for support. When he unexpectedly successfully steals ten thousand dollars, the situation only gets worse: Lilly hides his money before he can drink it all away. Incensed, Bud’s behavior becomes more and more violent, until one day Lilly catches him in a monstrous act involving her twin children. She tries to kill him on the spot, but Bud murders her instead. Since the only witnesses were her kids, whom Bud is convinced are retarded since they refuse to speak, shaking the charges is a snap. The real problem is that he never found out where Lilly hid his money, but a sudden brainstorm convinces him that it must be with those kids and their aunt, Lilly’s sister Luce. So he sets out to the mountains to get back his cash, and to ensure that no one will ever be able to accuse him of Lilly’s murder.

Frazier’s third novel is a linguistic feast, combining a suspenseful plot and deep insight into the nature of love, revenge, and survival. It becomes apparent that the land, particularly the forest, is a character in this tale just as much as the men and women are, and its all-encompassing presence fills this satisfying read to the brim.

Nightwoods was the winner of the 2012 Sir Walter Raleigh Award.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Frazier, Charles, Historical, Mountains, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Lauren Myracle. Shine. New York: Amulet Books, 2011.

Patrick Truman was never afraid, or if he was it never showed. When his classmates called him a pansy or a fairy, when they stole his pants and left him trapped in the bathroom, when they knocked into him or threw the word fag in his face, it never stuck. He cast off their darkness and let his light shine, just like his grandma, Mama Sweetie, told him to. But some people are so infected with hate and anger that such strength, such survival in another is unbearable. A tourist finds Patrick one Sunday morning at the gas station where he works, beaten and left for dead with a nozzle shoved down his throat. He lies in a coma, an object of gossip and fascination to the entire community of Black Creek, his small, conservative mountain town.

Cat Robinson knows she has to get to the bottom of it. Despite their statements to the local paper, the sheriff’s department isn’t doing anything, and many people even whisper that Patrick was asking for it, maybe even deserved it. Though they haven’t spoken in years, Patrick was her best childhood friend, and Cat aches for the distance that grew up between them in high school. She starts asking questions, opening old wounds, and examining herself and her class-divided, embittered town with a critical and unsparing eye. Filled with a fire and bravery she had forgotten, Cat rediscovers herself in the search for her friend’s attacker. She remembers how to shine, even in the face of the intolerant, the mentally destroyed, and the beaten down. Even in the face of her own victimization. Undaunted and unwilling to remain silent any longer, Cat is an excellent example of how we hope our children will learn to respond to hate.

Native daughter Lauren Myracle has written an engrossing tale that acknowledges human nature’s strange capacity for both chilling evil and inestimable grace. While aimed at young adults, older readers will also find that the finely crafted characters, well-written narrative, and overarching themes of friendship, acceptance, and courage make for an excellent read. It is an apt message for our times.

UPDATE July 27th, 2012: Congratulations to Shine for winning the 2012 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award for Young Adult fiction!

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

 

2 Comments

Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Children & Young Adults, Mountains, Myracle, Lauren

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

Mike Sanders. Thirsty. East Orange, NJ: Wahida Clark Presents Publishing, 2008.

Hustling in Charlotte, North Carolina, is a dangerous business; Justice Dial knows this. Still, she enjoys the perks – designer clothes and jewelry, a fancy car, a beautifully decorated home, and an endless supply of money – not to mention the thrill she gets from it. Her gorgeous appearance and quick wit make her a successful hustler: wealthy and well-connected men are distracted by her charms long enough for her to get necessary information. Justice then gives the important details to her brother, Monk, so that he and his friends can steal the men’s money and goods.

This time, however, Justice and Monk have gotten caught up with the wrong men. Monk’s new accomplice stole money from Carlos, a powerful drug lord who happens to be Justice’s ex-boyfriend. Carlos’s crew comes after Monk and Justice. The siblings fear for their lives so much that they decide to return to Chicago. Before they leave, Justice discovers that J.T., the handsome man she has been seeing, is not the nice guy she imagined. Justice gets her revenge, but going to war with Carlos’s gang changes her life forever.

This novel contains graphic sexual and violent content.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Mecklenburg, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Sanders, Mike, Suspense/Thriller

Edward Vaughn. The Forgiven. New York: Xlibris, 2007.

Kathleen Kelley grew up in a sheltered and deeply religious family in Omaha, Nebraska. Her strict parents placed well-intended expectations on her, and their daughter grew up to be very naive. When Kathleen follows her boyfriend to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, she cuts ties with her family and entrusts her future to someone she does not know very well. He quickly proves to be a poor choice, and Kathleen soon finds herself alone and penniless. She begins dancing and becomes a cocaine addict, eventually prostituting herself.

Although Kathleen is miserable at the turn in her life, she finds a glimmer of hope in her daughter. Sadly, one of her johns violates her trust and kidnaps her child, molesting the girl before killing her. Kathleen is heartbroken, but the police and media rapidly condemn her as the murderer. She does not refute her negligence, but Kathleen venomously denies committing the heinous murder.

Though most people in Cumberland County persecute Kathleen, her public defender does not believe that someone who had previously trained to become a nun would later kill her daughter. He works to clear her name and to find the criminal; he also falls in love with his client. Throughout her ordeal, Kathleen must find the strength to forgive herself for her past life in order to start anew as an exonerated citizen and loved wife.

The Forgiven is the second novel in Edward Vaughn’s “Cumberland County Series.”

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Coastal Plain, Cumberland, Novels in Series, Suspense/Thriller, Vaughn, Edward

Richard L. Brown and Mikal H. El-Amin. 187 Iz an Art. Long Beach, CA: Double-Up Publishing, 2009.

When this novel opens, Kamikaze (Kaze) and his cousin Killa are in their teens, but already hustling.  Kaze is close to his mother, but she is in prison. Killa’s mother, Pam, is nominally responsible for both boys, but she is an alcoholic who can’t be counted on.  The cousins have just each other.  As they become better and bolder at hustling, they attract the attention of others, and they put together a drug organization, 187 CRU.  The book follows their exploits as they add members, take over territory, make connections with higher ups in the drug trade, and battle rival dealers for control of Durham’s streets.  The action, well described, comes fast and furious, and the body count is high.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000, 2009, Brown, Richard L., Durham, El-Amin, Mikal H, Piedmont

Bill Whitworth. Butterfly Girl. Alexander, NC: Alexander Books, 2010.

White Shoals appears to be a peaceful town in the scenic mountains of North Carolina,  but appearances can be deceiving.  Jason Duke has been the sheriff for less than a year, and when an anonymous caller reports a body near the edge of a mountain stream, he has his first murder case.  The victim is a young woman with a butterfly tattoo on one of her legs; determining who she is and how and why she died takes the sheriff into dangerous territory.  The head of the county commissioners, Kirk Mallory, is a real estate developer who pressures the sheriff to find the killer fast and thus minimize the negative publicity that the town is receiving.  Mallory’s interference is almost to be expected, but the sheriff is surprised when someone at the other end of the town’s social spectrum, the old country shopkeeper Amos Hawkins, warns him not to stir up something he can’t handle.  By degrees, multiple stories unfold–of a college student who went with Mr. Wrong; of a greedy, dishonest developer; of a man who hid his insanity behind a veneer of respectability; of meth makers taking advantage of the cover that the mountains provide; and  of a community in the midst of change.  Intermixed with these disturbing matters are the stories of Jason Duke’s working relationship with his deputy Shaun Standingdeer and the sheriff’s romance with local woman.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Mountains, Mystery, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Whitworth, Bill

Kathy Reichs. Spider Bones. New York: Scribner, 2010.

Most of the action in this latest Temperance Brennan novel takes places in Hawaii, but the case originates in the actions of two young men in Lumberton, North Carolina in the 1960s.  Authorities in Quebec are puzzled as to  how an American soldier thought to have died in the Vietnam War could turn up a corpse in Canada  forty years later. Tempe Brennan is called in.  Her visit to the man’s father will introduce readers to Lumberton, but the Vietnam War and drug smuggling are the true subjects of the novel.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Coastal Plain, Mystery, Novels in Series, Reichs, Kathy, Robeson

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.

Leave a Comment

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