Uncivil Seasons by Michael Malone
Back of Book Description:
The polite Piedmont of Hillston, North Carolina, wants to go on believing it is still too temperate to require homicide experts. But when the wife of a state senator is fond beaten to death, the inner circle of Hillston's ruling families arranges to have the case assigned to Detective Justin Savile, the charming black sheep of the dynasty that founded the town.
Aided by his wise-cracking, working-class partner, Cuddy Mangum, and a young woman from the Carolina mountains whose strength and love rescues him from his own destructive impulses, Savile sets out to unravel the deceit hidden in Hillston's past. His obsessive pursuit of one of his own and his determination to save a petty thief from being railroaded for murder not only lead to other deaths, but bring the detective very near losing his own life. With striking humor and a rich range of characters, Malone creates a landscape struggling between the New South's high-tech lifestyle and the Old South's inherited codes.
My Rating: B
This novel reminded me of a serious drama wrapped in with a romantic comedy and action film all in one, but not always working well with each other. I think that often it was entirely too lofty for itself and that about 50 pages of nonsense could have been taken out and the book would have been an easier read.
The characters and story though made it worth pushing through when pushing was needed. The characters were well rounded and Justin and Cuddy were people you'd want to know. Even the minor characters were mighty interesting. If you feel that you have the time to sometimes muddle through the extensive writing in this novel I would recommend it to you.