cover image August Snow

August Snow

Stephen Mack Jones. Soho Crime, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-61695-718-6

Convincing smartass dialogue brings the Detroit denizens of poet and playwright Jones’s first novel to life. Police officer August Snow was fired from the force for whistle-blowing on the city’s mayor and a bunch of crooked cops. His wrongful dismissal suit got him $12 million. After traveling the world, he’s home in Detroit’s Mexicantown when he’s summoned to posh Grosse Pointe by Eleanor Paget, the head of a private wealth-management and investment bank, whose husband he once investigated for embezzlement and murder. She’s convinced someone’s trying to take over her empire and wants August’s help. When Eleanor turns up dead, a supposed suicide, the plot starts to go off the rails. In pursuit of justice, August and his buddies, armed with countless military weapons, take on hired assassins working for evildoers whose crimes against the bank include extortion, racketeering, and implausible cybercrimes. Strong prose and a hero with a distinctive multicultural background (August is half African-American, half Mexican) make up only in part for muddled storytelling. Agent: Stephany Evans, FinePrint Literary Management. (Feb.)