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August Snow (Hardcover)
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I so hope there is someone like August Snow - half black, half Mexican, ex-cop with a strong sense of justice and community - looking out for Detroit. The hope this book expresses for Detroit weaves throughout the narrative and Mr. Jones's descriptions of Detroit's decline and partial resurgence make the city an actual character in this thriller. Yes, he makes mistakes and, wow, by the end his body count is way too high for my tastes, but so few books take place in modern day Detroit. Enjoy this one!
Winner of the Hammett Prize
From the wealthy suburbs to the remains of Detroit’s bankrupt factory districts, August Snow is a fast-paced tale of murder, greed, sex, economic cyber-terrorism, race and urban decay.
Tough, smart, and struggling to stay alive, August Snow is the embodiment of Detroit. The son of an African-American father and a Mexican-American mother, August grew up in the city’s Mexicantown and joined the police force only to be drummed out by a conspiracy of corrupt cops and politicians. But August fought back; he took on the city and got himself a $12 million wrongful dismissal settlement that left him low on friends. He has just returned to the house he grew up in after a year away, and quickly learns he has many scores to settle.
It’s not long before he’s summoned to the palatial Grosse Pointe Estates home of business magnate Eleanore Paget. Powerful and manipulative, Paget wants August to investigate the increasingly unusual happenings at her private wealth management bank. But detective work is no longer August’s beat, and he declines. A day later, Paget is dead of an apparent suicide—which August isn’t buying for a minute.
What begins as an inquiry into Eleanore Paget’s death soon drags August into a rat’s nest of Detroit’s most dangerous criminals, from corporate embezzlers to tattooed mercenaries.
About the Author
Stephen Mack Jones is a published poet, an award-winning playwright, and a recipient of the prestigious Kresge Arts in Detroit Literary Fellowship. He was born in Lansing, Michigan, and currently lives in Farmington Hills, outside of Detroit. He worked in advertising and marketing communications for a number of years before turning to fiction. August Snow is his first novel.
Winner of the Hammett Prize for Crime Fiction
A 2018 Michigan Notable Book
A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Best Book of 2017
Strand Magazine Critics Awards Best First Novel Nominee
Nominated for the 2018 Shamus Award for Best First Private Eye Novel
Finalist for the 2018 Nero Award
Praise for August Snow
"August Snow is one of my favorite books that I've read recently, and I'm not just saying that . . . The plot just takes off . . . This book is so good, I actually put it down, and I briefly entertained the notion of moving back to Detroit."
—Nancy Pearl on NPR’s Morning Edition
"All of us begin in grace and great promise and, staring at the door left open behind, wonder where they’ve gone. Stephen Mack Jones knows this, as does his narrator August Snow, as does their battered city, Detroit. Jean Cocteau believed the world is a misunderstanding. We read searching for stories that help us untangle some of that misunderstanding; August Snow is one."
"[A] witty, mayhem-packed first novel . . . Snow’s own voice has echoes of Raymond Chandler’s. Be assured that when the showdown comes, Snow—an action-hero with the heart of a mensch—and his crew prove up to that task."
—The Wall Street Journal
—Nancy Pearl for KUOW Seattle
"Stephen Mack Jones's rock-solid debut, August Snow, is powered by the outgoing personality of the title hero and his deep affections for his hometown of Detroit. This author proves himself a natural entertainer."
"Jones, a Detroit-area poet and playwright brings the city, its environs, and its eateries to vital life in a mystery coiled around the contemporary crime du jour of cyber-finance meddling. His is that rare tale that, despite its thriller-level violence, maintains a fiercely warm heart at its core—and ends far too quickly."
—The Boston Globe
"[Stephen Mack Jones] has deftly created a unique multi-faceted character in the best hard-boiled tradition, easily enjoyed by those who appreciate quick-thinking, fast-shooting detectives. This is a well-polished first novel with exceptionally strong characters and unexpected plot twists; it’s a superb start for a new series."
—Lansing State Journal
"Mack Jones’s prose is razor sharp and bleeds compassion. Set in Detroit, this noir novel has energy and wit to spare. A stellar debut."
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"[A] polished, gripping debut. Poet Stephen Mack Jones’ novel bristles with energy, compassion, humor and a page-turning plot."
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Compelling . . . strong one-on-one dialogue keeps the story moving. August Snow is an entertaining read that gives Jones—and Detroit—plenty to celebrate."
"August Snow is an absolute joy to read from start to finish; Stephen Mack Jones has infused a real love of Detroit into every page. Characters are full of life, with August being a modern day anti-hero to a T, burdened with responsibility he never asked for but with the moral compass to ensure that he gets the job done regardless . . . We can only hope this isn’t the last we see of him."
—The Michigan Daily
"[August Snow] is persistent, courageous, true to his friends... Now here is an interesting book."
—Lincoln Journal Star
"As far as compelling reads, this book is what you want. The book takes the reader into the depths of Detroit, exploring, race, class and the cities that contain it all."
"Lyrical and sly and rich with a mix of poetry and wisecracking... [the] cast of characters is lovingly drawn, and the setting is a 21st-century map of mean streets that say something about our world."
—Reviewing the Evidence
"[A] hugely likable hero who uses his wealth to bring his neighborhood back to life; a feel for the vitality and pride in run-down urban neighborhoods as good as George Pelecanos on Washington, D.C.; appealing supporting characters who give life to the book's theme of the solace to be found in communities. It adds up to a very pleasurable read . . . We are at the beginning of an excellent new series."
"Drawing on the hard-boiled detective template established by Raymond Chandler and refined by Robert B. Parker, Jones introduces a sleuth who is noble, steadfast in a fight with his fists or guns, and manages to charm the ladies. Readers will definitely want to see more of August Snow."
"Strong prose and a hero with a distinctive multicultural background (August is half African-American, half Mexican) . . . Convincing smartass dialogue brings the Detroit denizens of poet and play-wright Jones's first novel to life."
"This debut novel by poet and playwright Jones offers a welcome inside view of a city in turmoil and the viewpoint of a Mexican and African American protagonist who now finds himself among gentrifiers . . . where shelves lack heroes of color, add Jones’s work."