cover image Murder, D.C.

Murder, D.C.

Neely Tucker. Viking, $27.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-670-01659-4

In Tucker’s disappointing second Sully Carter novel (after 2014’s The Ways of the Dead), the hard-drinking Washington, D.C., journalist—still recovering from injuries sustained while reporting overseas during the Bosnian War—investigates the alleged murder of a young black man in a small park known as Frenchman’s Bend: “a place where drugs and homicide are as common as rainfall.” The deceased, Billy Ellison, was the last heir of one of the city’s most prominent families. Given the lack of leads and Ellison’s mother blaming the death on her son’s involvement in the drug trade, everyone involved just wants the tragedy to go away. But when Carter, who is white, digs deeper—maneuvering his way through a minefield of street thugs, crime lords, and morally bankrupt lawyers—he stumbles across a dark secret with roots that stretch back generations. Spot-on dialogue and a vividly described setting compensate only in part for Carter’s stock character and an underwhelming solution to the mystery. [em]Agent: Elyse Cheney, Elyse Cheney Literary Associates. (July) [/em]