What would you do if you only had twenty
four hours to save the life of a friend?
Searching for lost souls and solving problems was never Nick Travers's intention when he started doing favors for his buddies. A former football player who sometimes teaches blues history at Tulane, Nick would rather just watch the Louisiana rain and listen to old Muddy Waters records.
But when music mogul Teddy Paris, a former teammate from the New Orleans Saints, visits Nick and asks him to help find $700,000 taken from a rap prodigy, Nick can't turn down his friend. The missing money will pay a bounty on Paris's head that was set by a crosstown rival, a street-hard thug named Cash.
Nick soon finds himself lost in the world of Gucci-lined Bentleys and endless bottles of Cristal champagne. He sets out with fifteen-year-old rap star, ALIAS, seeking a team of grifters that conned the kid. But uncertainty, the constant threat of violence, and a phantom grave robber haunt their search. When a killer hits too close, Nick takes ALIAS with him to the Mississippi Delta, where he comes under the protection and guidance of Nick's mentor, blues legend JoJo Jackson, and his wife, Loretta.
Soon Nick, JoJo, and another old-school Delta tough guy do battle in the Dirty South rap world where money, sex, and murder threaten to take down Paris's empire and destroy ALIAS. As cultures clash, the story winds its way through the infamous Calliope housing projects, the newly built mansions of New Orleans's lake-front, and ultimately to the brackish muck of the Bayou Savage.
Dirty South is a thrilling tale of friendship, betrayal, revenge, and trust from a fresh and hip new voice. Take a ride to the other side of New Orleans, away from the neon gloss of Bourbon Street, to see what the dirty south is all about.
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Ace Atkins, an Alabama native, earned nominations for the Pulitzer Prize and the Livingston Award for his work covering crime at the Tampa Tribune. He now teaches at the University of Mississippi and lives on a century-old farm outside Oxford with a half-dozen faithful mutts, including Elvis and Polk Salad Annie. And yes, Ace is his real name.From Publishers Weekly:
This richly atmospheric yet action-starved crime drama is the fourth installment in Atkins's New Orleansâ€"based series featuring Nick Travers, a former professional football player turned amateur sleuth. Here, Travers agrees to help an old football teammate, now a wealthy music mogul, find nearly $1 million conned from one of his record labels' marquee stars, a 15-year-old rapper known only as ALIAS. Travers meets with ALIAS, but the brooding, self-involved punk is either too embarrassed to say how he got swindled or may have something more to protect than just his pride. Prowling the seedy side of New Orleans, Travers rubs up against social extremes - rival record producers, street urchins, old athletes and wealthy agents who make sport of separating entertainment stars from their money. In the process, Travers attracts a long list of enemies, several of whom make it openly known that he'd best butt out if he knows what's good for him. Atkins (Dark End of the Street) writes with the same lean prose and descriptive acumen that earned him praise for earlier efforts. Yet the plot of his latest is thin, sluggish and confusing (exactly who is the corpse-like figure who tries to kill Travers on two separate occasions?). Fans of the Delta blues will appreciate Atkins's inarguably deep musical knowledge - Travers teaches blues history at Tulane in his spare time - yet those looking for a good yarn may find themselves hopelessly tangled by the end.
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