03 June 2010

Who done it?

Ashley Ave., Charleston, S.C.

I must be driving to work a little later this week because flipping the radio to NPR I landed in the middle of Radio Reader's morning story. It got my attention when I realized the book was about a murder in Charleston in 1910 and all the streets they mentioned were familiar.

The book they are featuring is Dead Weight, a new novel by Batt Humphreys.

Charleston, South Carolina in 1910 is the scene of a true story. There is a trial in the town, a triangle of animosities. A Jewish merchant murdered, a black man accused and a white populace primed for a hanging.

A reporter from New York arrives to cover the story. Hal Hinson follows the facts, but finds that Charleston is a much more complex and seductive city than he imagined.

He discovers a dangerous balance in the racial divide, a country of beauty and cruelty and a love story that echoes of Shakespeare in its ending.

Now I am going to have to drive to work late every day until I find out who done it. I love books and movies featuring familiar territory.