HarperTorch / HarperCollins
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End of the Street
By Ace Atkins
once in awhile, you run across an author or a book that is so good
you can’t believe the author isn’t a household name
and the book isn’t a bestseller. Ace Atkins is one of those
authors and Dark End of the Street is one of those books.
In Dark End of the Street,
Nick Travers, a blues historian for Tulane University, is asked
by a close friend to search for her brother, a once famous blues
musician. Everyone along the way tells Travers that the brother
is dead, but he soon learns otherwise. Travers also manages to rescue
a young girl from a rather precarious situation in a casino and
he learns her situation is tied to his search. As the plot thickens,
the action intensifies and Travers must not only protect the young
girl, but also himself.
Atkins, a native of the South and a blues
aficionado, ties both of those things together expertly in his writing.
The story careens between New Orleans, Oxford, Memphis and other
spots on the Mississippi Delta with rich and exacting details. Atkins
not only uses the blues and its history to help drive the story,
but also to provide an ever-present soundtrack for the action.
the best thing in this book is Travers himself. A former professional
football player, a man who leans toward the lonely side of life
and a man who can’t help himself from helping others is one
of the best new characters to emerge in crime fiction in a long
time. He’s flawed, he’s human and he’s as believable
as fictional protagonists get.
Atkins unwinds the story with
careful precision and brings the tale full of colorful and bizarre
characters to an exciting and satisfying conclusion. He leaves us
looking forward to our next encounter with Travers and in Dark
End of the Street he has created a must read for all fans of