Reviews: 2 Sully Carter Mysteries by Neely Tucker
WAYS OF THE DEAD [Sully Carter 1]
Neely Tucker, veteran journalist and acclaimed author of Love in the Driest Season, wrote one of the best reviewed thrillers of 2014—THE WAYS OF THE DEAD—now available in paperback (Penguin; On sale May 12, 2015). The first installment in an ongoing crime series, THE WAYS OF THE DEAD introduces Sully Carter, a wry, bourbon-drinking, street-smart journalist with chronic authority issues. Inspired by the real-life 1990s Princeton Place murders, Tucker’s debut novel is a page-turning, breathtaking portrait of race relations and gritty investigative journalism during the glory days of American newspapers.
When the body of Sarah Reese—the pretty teenage daughter of a prominent federal judge—is found in an alley in a rundown section of Washington D.C., the police quickly arrest three local black kids known to be at the scene of her death. The case appears to be cut and dry until Sully Carter arrives. Back from reporting in war-torn Bosnia with serious injuries and an even more severe chip on his shoulder, Carter spends as much time drinking and speeding around D.C. on his 1993 Ducati 916 as he does filing stories. Almost immediately, Carter gets the feeling there’s more to the case than the police suspect. Reese’s slaying might be related to a string of cold cases the police barely investigated, among them the recent disappearance of a gorgeous university student. He also can’t help but notice that a white girl’s murder is front page news, but the disappearance of multiple African American and Latina women have been left unsolved.
Against pressure from Judge Reese, Carter’s bosses at the paper, and a powerful drug dealer who runs the area around Princeton Place, Carter races to link the crimes into a cohesive story. Set against the backdrop of D.C.’s broad avenues and shady backstreets, Tucker tells a story that juxtaposes blighted neighborhoods shadowed by pristine monuments of power. THE WAYS OF THE DEAD takes readers into the fast-paced, deadline-driven newsroom that Tucker knows so intimately. This propulsive thriller is perfect for fans of George Pelecanos and Elmore Leonard.
Review: THE WAYS OF THE DEAD by Neely Tucker
Sullivan "Sully" Carter is a DC journalist, an emotionally downtrodden reporter with addictions to alcohol and adrenaline, veteran correspondent in far too many wars and "conflicts," a man who manipulate the overseas aid system, and faced down warlords. Sully is also the one who perhaps best comprehend the pulse of crime in D.C.; the man who believes homicide is the defining criterion of the human condition. Now he is assigned to a brutal slaying, a fifteen-year-old white girl slaughtered in a black enclave, daughter of a high-powered Federal Justice on fast track to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Before the case, and the neighborhood, explode in facially-motivated violence, Sully determines to uncover the facts and find the killer.
WAYS OF THE DEAD interweaves actual information from the Washington D.C. Princeton Place, which the author covered.
MURDER, D. C. [Sully Carter 2]
Washington, D.C., reporter Sully Carter returns in a thrilling murder mystery of race, wealth, and corruption, by the author of The Ways of the Dead
When Billy Ellison, the son of Washington, D.C.'s most influential African-American family, is found dead in the Potomac near a violent drug haven, veteran metro reporter Sully Carter knows it's time to start asking some serious questions—no matter what the consequences. With the police unable to find a lead and pressure mounting for Sully to abandon the investigation, he has a hunch that there is more to the case than a drug deal gone bad or a tale of family misfortune. Digging deeper, Sully finds that the real story stretches far beyond Billy and into D.C.'s most prominent social circles. An alcoholic still haunted from his years as a war correspondent in Bosnia, Sully now must strike a dangerous balance between D.C.'s two extremes—the city's violent, desperate back streets and its highest corridors of power—while threatened by those who will stop at nothing to keep him from discovering the shocking truth.
The follow-up to last year's acclaimed The Ways of the Dead, this gritty mystery showcases Tucker's talent for spot-on dialogue, authentic characters, and complex narrative.
REVIEW: MURDER DC by Neely Tucker In the second installment of the Sully Carter, the intrepid former war correspondent starts with the springboard of a floating corpse found in the river, to uncover a plethora of killings in a desolate area called Frenchman' s Bend, land soaked in blood and blood money--location of a 19th century slave market. As Sully digs further, it becomes apparent that the most recent death was only the tip of an iceberg of ugly secrets, two centuries of lies, concealment behind a facade of society and wealth, founded on I'll-gotten gains. MURDER DC will keep readers riveted and eager for the next Sully Carter journalistic investigation.