WAR AT HOME

Kris Nelscott, Author . St. Martin's Minotaur $24.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-312-32527-5

In Edgar-finalist Nelscott's gripping fifth Smokey Dalton mystery (after 2004's Stone Cribs ), the African-American PI and his "son," Jimmy, an appealingly plainspoken 11-year-old, agree to help locate the missing son of Jimmy's beloved teacher, Grace Kirkland. Daniel Kirkland, a Yale undergrad, has disappeared after failing to show up for spring semester. Malcolm Reyner, an 18-year-old short-order cook, joins the pair, making for a nicely balanced trio. As they travel from Chicago to New Haven, Conn., in the summer of '69, and then through various New Haven neighborhoods, a wealth of disturbing information about racial relations comes out. Smokey handles slights and threats with a sensitivity that's impressive but credible. Meanwhile, the three learn that Daniel apparently became involved with protests and explosives, and they find even grimmer hints about Daniel in New York City. Though a little too much time elapses before the boy's fate is finally revealed, the crisp writing and sharp details keep the story moving. Agent, Merilee Heifetz. (Mar. 21)

Reviewed on: 02/28/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-312-32528-2
Paperback - 392 pages - 978-0-615-91707-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-7408-5
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