Review of THIN WALLS by Kris Nelscott
A SMOKEY DALTON NOVEL
St. Martin's Minotaur, September 2002
When Alice Foster asks Smokey Dalton to find who killed her husband, Smokey knows that the police will be little help. In Chicago in 1968, racial lines are drawn tight, and no one in power is especially concerned over a few black deaths. But Smokey recognizes the pattern--it's one that has happened before. Somewhere, a serial killer is systematically murdering blacks. And Smokey intends to find out who--and put a stop to it.
Through THIN WALLS, Smokey deals with racism, black gangs who offer 'protection' at a horrible price, and cops who either don't care, or who believe that they can lose everything they believe in if they buck the way things are done. A subplot with Smokey's white love interest adds a level of personal depth to the character--and provides continuity from earlier novels in the series.
Author Kris Nelscott (see all BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by this author) delivers a riveting historical mystery. Nelscott makes America's racism come alive, yet offers a hint of promise that it can be overcome. The conflict between African-American cop Johnson and white cop Sinkovich adds both depth and authenticity to the novel. Smokey himself, with his concern for his 'son' Jimmy, drives the plot forward.
THIN WALLS grabbed me early and kept me turning the pages. Nelscott's writing is authentic and compelling, with just enough name-dropping of real characters to spice the story.
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