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Ace Atkins is the New York Times bestselling author of the Quinn Colson novels, the first two of which--The Ranger and The Lost Ones--were nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel (he also has a third Edgar nomination for his short story, "Last Fair Deal Gone Down"). In addition, he is the author of several New York Times bestselling novels in the continuation of Robert B. Parker's Spenser series. Before turning to fiction, he was a correspondent for the St. Petersburg Times, a crime reporter for the Tampa Tribune, and, in college, played defensive end for the undefeated Auburn University football team (for which he was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated). He lives in Oxford, Mississippi.
It's 1955, and the Ybor City area of Tampa is a melting pot of Cuban and Sicilian immigrants liberally laced with gangsters vying for control of the city's gambling, prostitution, drug, and liquor concessions. When vice don Charlie Wall, affectionately known as The White Shadow, is murdered gangland style in his home, all of Tampa takes notice. Atkins (Dirty South) has penned a compelling fictionalized history of the affair told from a variety of perspectives-those of the prime suspects, the investigating police detective, an investigative reporter for the Tampa Times, and an elusive Cuban girl who was a prime mover in the case. In a Tampa Confidential style, Atkins's latest cleaves close to the truth as revealed by police reports, court documents, newspaper articles, and interviews with those involved. Not your average whodunit, White Shadow is an intriguing expos? of a crime-ridden city in the not-too-distant past. Recommended. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 1/06.]-Thomas Kilpatrick, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
One of the major achievements of Atkins's fictional account of the murder of former mob boss Charlie Wall, the White Shadow of the title, is his mesmerizing recreation of the steamy, dangerous, pulsating city of Tampa, Fla., circa 1955. Surprisingly, Dufris, a veteran of more than 250 audiobooks, selects a straightforward, unaccented and bland approach to the atmosphere-rich novel. The book's protagonist and narrator, reporter L.B. Turner, referred to as a "Virginian," has a New England burr rather than an Old South slur. When it comes to Mafia and Cuban gangsters, Dufris rises to the occasion with an assortment of properly gruff and/or Latin accents. The audio package improves on the novel with a bonus disk, where Atkins eloquently outlines the events that triggered his interest in a nearly 50-year-old murder and offers anecdotes about his research. Just as fascinating are his interviews with former newsmen Bob Turner and Leland Hawes and retired detective Ellis Clifton, men whose voices and memories, presumably recorded during the last few years, seem as vital as they were back in the day. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, June 3). (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Sure to be a book of the year. (Lee Child) Praise for White Shadow "A mesmerizing read. With wonderful detail of character and history, this novel is a tour de force from one of the best crime writers at work today."--Michael Connelly "Ace Atkins makes 1950s Florida as cool and hip as tomorrow in this outstanding novel. It's a stunning achievement and sure to be a book of the year."--Lee Child "A rich, powerful novel that is to south Florida what James Ellroy's L.A. Confidential is to Los Angeles."--Robert Crais "Classic Florida noir, a great crime novel set in the fabulously crime-ridden '50s. Ace Atkins has done a superb job of re-creating old Tampa, a place whose underworld was as dangerous and debauched as Chicago's in its prime."--Carl Hiaasen "A wild ride. This is a big-time crime novel crammed with violence, sex and some pretty good riting that makes it hard to put down."--Kirkus Reviews "Too often, historical mysteries are more history than mystery, but Atkins does a fine job of giving us a richly detailed portrait of a fascinating time and place without ever losing the compelling forward thrust of a taut and suspenseful tale."--St. Louis Post-Dispatch