The Last Minstrel Show: A Detective Story

Overview

Peter Goldman's debut novel is the first in a planned series starring an ex-cop turned PI named Max Christian. Max is not the prototypical private eye of detective fiction. There's nothing particularly heroic about him. His wife has left him and taken their son with her. He misses his lost past chasing murderers as an NYPD homicide detective. He's drinking too much. He's bedding too many women whose names he can never remember. He's having imaginary conversations with the ghost of Albert Camus, who nags him--in ...
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Overview

Peter Goldman's debut novel is the first in a planned series starring an ex-cop turned PI named Max Christian. Max is not the prototypical private eye of detective fiction. There's nothing particularly heroic about him. His wife has left him and taken their son with her. He misses his lost past chasing murderers as an NYPD homicide detective. He's drinking too much. He's bedding too many women whose names he can never remember. He's having imaginary conversations with the ghost of Albert Camus, who nags him--in ghetto language--about his addiction to the drug called self-pity.

But all that changes when an eight-foot-tall player for the Darktown Strutters--a touring black troupe mixing showtime basketball with blackface minstrel routines--is shot dead execution-style at Max's doorstep. More bodies pile up, and Max, to clear his own name, finds himself back in his past life, tracking a serial killer of black men.

While his old NYPD partner Tina Falcone chases leads in New York, Max goes on the road with the Strutters, nominally as a player on their all-white opposition team and as bodyguard to their coke-addled owner Lou Schiff. His real purpose is catching the killer--a mission that leads him into a dangerous world in which drug deals and sudden death are routine business transactions and a brutal mob boss calls signals from the shadows.

"The Last Minstrel Show" is first and foremost what its subtitle suggests: a detective story. But it's a whodunit with a serious subtext. It looks hard at the persistence of racism in "post-racial" America in the time of Barack Obama and Trayvon Martin. And it explores how masks have become a necessity of everyday life for everybody, not just the Strutter minstrelmen performing in blackface.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781470008376
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 4/18/2012
  • Pages: 330
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Goldman is an award-winning journalist who wrote more than 120 Newsweek magazine cover stories on race, politics, criminal justice and other aspects of American life. "The Last Minstrel Show" is his eleventh book and his first novel. Reviewers of his past nonfiction work have called him "shiningly eloquent" (New York Times), "masterful" (Washington Post), and "perhaps the best writer in American journalism" (Wall Street Journal). He lives in New York.
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