An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock: A Samuel Craddock Mystery

Terry Shames. Seventh Street, $15.95 trade paper (255p) ISBN 978-1-63388-209-6
Shames’s superior sixth Samuel Craddock mystery (after 2016’s The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake), a prequel set possibly during the early 1970s, explores a significant case at the start of the retired police chief’s career. After a period of addressing mostly idyllic small-town concerns, Craddock struggles to respond to a drug problem at the Jarrett Creek, Tex., high school, as well as a multiple-victim murder and arson case in the town’s Darktown section, where the black citizens reside. Due to jurisdictional issues, patrolman John Sutherland of the Highway Patrol takes charge of the murder investigation, though usually Texas Rangers would handle it. When Sutherland arrests a man that Craddock believes to be innocent, Craddock must determine whether to pursue a case that many people close to him, including his wife, wish he would drop. Skilled depictions of the lawman’s formative choices and emotions enhance a timely story with resonance in the era of Black Lives Matter. Agent: Janet Reid, FinePrint Literary Management. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/2016
Release date: 01/03/2017
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 978-1-63388-210-2
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