Overview

From Publishers Weekly
College football star Ennis Skinner, whose reckless love affair with a drug addict, Alice Faye James, ruined his gridiron career, hopes for another shot at happiness in literary critic Curnutt's dark crime drama set in Montgomery, Ala. After Ennis, the son of a white civil rights hero, serves a 10-year prison sentence for drug dealing, High C, a former meth king who now peddles books like The Hit Man Handbook on the Web, asks Ennis to locate his missing, ...
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Dixie Noir

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Overview

From Publishers Weekly
College football star Ennis Skinner, whose reckless love affair with a drug addict, Alice Faye James, ruined his gridiron career, hopes for another shot at happiness in literary critic Curnutt's dark crime drama set in Montgomery, Ala. After Ennis, the son of a white civil rights hero, serves a 10-year prison sentence for drug dealing, High C, a former meth king who now peddles books like The Hit Man Handbook on the Web, asks Ennis to locate his missing, mentally challenged 19-year-old daughter, Dixie, whose mother was the now deceased Faye. Adding heat is the Montgomery mayoral race between white incumbent Amory Justice and African-American Walk Compson, who may have a link to Dixie. The author sensitively explores still simmering racial tensions in the South and inserts a lovely tribute to Zelda Fitzgerald, but a murky ending and an unconvincing twist to do with Dixie dissatisfy. This is Curnutt's second novel after Breathing Out the Ghost (2008). (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
College football star Ennis Skinner, whose reckless love affair with a drug addict, Alice “Faye” James, ruined his gridiron career, hopes for another shot at happiness in literary critic Curnutt's dark crime drama set in Montgomery, Ala. After Ennis, the son of a white civil rights hero, serves a 10-year prison sentence for drug dealing, High C, a former meth king who now peddles books like The Hit Man Handbook on the Web, asks Ennis to locate his missing, mentally challenged 19-year-old daughter, Dixie, whose mother was the now deceased Faye. Adding heat is the Montgomery mayoral race between white incumbent Amory Justice and African-American Walk Compson, who may have a link to Dixie. The author sensitively explores still simmering racial tensions in the South and inserts a lovely tribute to Zelda Fitzgerald, but a murky ending and an unconvincing twist to do with Dixie dissatisfy. This is Curnutt's second novel after Breathing Out the Ghost (2008). (Nov.)
Kirkus Reviews
A disgraced gridiron star emerges from ten years in prison for a final showdown with the man he shot. Everyone in football-mad Alabama hates Ennis Skinner. Booted as quarterback of the Crimson Tide after telling a TV reporter he used cocaine, he spent a decade at the Kilby Correctional Facility after gut-shooting meth manufacturer High C, whom he blamed for the death of his girlfriend and fellow addict Faye James. Ennis has been paroled, but it looks as if his whole life is about to repeat itself. C, now a publisher who sells counterculture manuals on the Internet, demands that Ennis discharge his debt by finding Faye's missing 19-year-old daughter Dixie, who's not exactly retarded but none too quick either. The search plunges Ennis and Red, the comely bartender he's hooked up with, into the middle of a racially charged race for mayor of Montgomery. Both the incumbent, Amory Justice, and his challenger, former Freedom Rider Walk Compson, are well-stocked with highly combustible ammunition; the death of Dixie's grandfather, apparently of autoerotic asphyxia, provides the match that sets the whole town aflame. To dramatize the final confrontation between Ennis and C, Curnutt (Breathing Out the Ghost, 2008) uses flash-forwards that may seem to give too much away, but he still keeps plenty of shocking revelations. Jim Thompson in the Deep South. Proof that noir will never die, which is more than you can say for the cast.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781432826512
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 11/18/2009
  • Sold by: CENGAGE LEARNING
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    fans will enjoy this fine Alabama thriller

    After a decade behind bars for drug trafficking, former Alabama football star Ennis Skinner is freed from prison. He returns home to Montgomery, Alabama hoping to atone for his transgression. His ailing father, who was part of the Civil Rights Movement, welcomes Ennis home.

    Even before he can settle in with his dad, former Meth salesman High C asks Ennis to find his missing nineteen year old mentally challenged daughter Caroline called Dixie by her late mom Alice "Faye" James. The request brings back memories Ennis would prefer to forget. On his way to the NFL, he and the late Faye had a heated tryst that led to the jock's drug ruin. At the same time when the city is divided over race as the white incumbent Amory Justice and African-American Walk Compson vie for the mayor's position, Dixie somehow seems to be caught in the middle somehow.

    Dixie Noir is an intriguing amateur sleuth mystery that focuses on race relations in the Deep South during a heated mayoral election further fueled by Amory's daughter. The story line is fast-paced but character driven with homage paid to local heroes like the Bear, Zelda Fitzgerald, and Joe Willie. Ennis is terrific as an infamous legend in Crimson Tide football for his "cocaine on the membrane". Although a final Dixie twist seems more an unnecessary shocker that detracts from an otherwise strong regional drama, fans will enjoy this fine Alabama thriller.

    Harriet Klausner

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