The shocking thing about this book is that it’s a twenty-first century novel published exactly fifty years after ‘In The Heat Of The Night’ was released. The film and Attica Locke’s novel are set in the Deep South. In east Texas for her novel. A superior black Texas Ranger operating in a swell of racist suppression and, obviously, out-smarting the local ill-equipped and badly educated police. Everyone accepts that racism is something that has to be worked round as opposed to being confronted.
Red-neck members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas1 are an additional source of vileness in the village of Lark along with the bonds of kinship which underpin the blanket of silence that greets any stranger.
A strong story well written, which follows most of the tropes of police based novels. There’s a flawed hero, a few well written female character as befits a female author, and flawed criminals. An evil eminence grise wraps up the characters. There are lots of stereotypes employed but they do help the narrative along nicely.