cover image Suitcase City

Suitcase City

Sterling Watson. Akashic, $15.95 trade paper (282p) ISBN 978-1-61775-319-0

Set largely in and around Tampa, Fla., in 1997, this noir gem from Watson (Fighting in the Shade) charts how past transgressions come back to threaten Jimmy Teach, a former college football star who quarterbacked the Florida Gators to an SEC championship and briefly played in the NFL. Now a recently widowed (and hard-drinking) vice president of sales for a pharmaceutical company, Teach, who is white, resides in an affluent Tampa neighborhood with his teenage daughter. His idyllic existence is turned upside down when he assaults a young black man who accosted him in a bar restroom. Racial tensions in the area are already high due to a serial killer murdering prostitutes of color, and Teach finds himself at the center of a media firestorm. When the police connect him to the murder of a prostitute, Teach realizes someone from his shadowy past is out to ruin him. A deeply contemplative and darkly poetic prose style complements the well-crafted plot. (Mar.)