Uncivil Seasons

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Overview

The polite Piedmont town of Hillston, North Carolina, wants to go on believing it is still too temperate to require homicide experts. But when the wife of a state senator is found beaten to death, the inner circle of Hillston's ruling families arranges to have the case assigned to Detective Justin Savile, the charming black sheep of the dynasty that founded the town.

Aided by his wise-cracking, working-class partner, Cuddy Magnum, and a young ...

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Overview

The polite Piedmont town of Hillston, North Carolina, wants to go on believing it is still too temperate to require homicide experts. But when the wife of a state senator is found beaten to death, the inner circle of Hillston's ruling families arranges to have the case assigned to Detective Justin Savile, the charming black sheep of the dynasty that founded the town.

Aided by his wise-cracking, working-class partner, Cuddy Magnum, and a young woman from the Carolina mountains whose strength and love rescues him from his own destructive impulses, Savile sets out to unravel the deceit hidden in Hillston's past. His obsessive pursuit of one of this own and his determination to save a petty thief from being railroaded for murder not only lead to other deaths, but bring the detective very near to losing his own life. With striking humor and a rich range of characters, Malone creates a landscape struggling the New South's high-tech lifestyles and the Old South's inherited codes.

A rare snowstorm has enveloped Hillston, North Carolina, covering everything--including a shocking murder. Detective Justin Savile, the wayward son of Hillston's founding family, is expected to arrest the usual scapegoat, but the boozy Justin has never been good at doing the expected.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385292672
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/1983
  • Pages: 288

Meet the Author

Michael Malone is the author of ten novels, a collection of short stories and two works of nonfiction. Educated at Carolina and at Harvard, he is now a professor in Theater Studies at Duke University. Among his prizes are the Edgar, the O. Henry, the Writers Guild Award, and the Emmy. He lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina, with his wife.

Biography

Michael Malone is a novelist as well as the author of short stories, works of nonfiction, several plays, and daytime television drama. He was born in the Piedmont region of North Carolina and his distinctive Southern voice permeates his books, which he describes as "centered in the comedy of the shared communion among very diverse groups of people who are bound together by place and the past."

Michael's writing has been compared to Miguel De Cervantes, Charles Dickens and Henry Fielding. He is the recipient of The O. Henry Award for "Fast Love," the Edgar for "Red Clay" and an Emmy as head writer of ABC-TV's One Life to Live.

Michael lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina with his wife, Maureen, whom he met while they were working toward their doctoral degrees at Harvard University.

Author biography courtesy of Sourcebooks, Inc.

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    1. Hometown:
      Hillsborough, North Carolina
    1. Education:
      B.A., Syracuse University; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University

Read an Excerpt

Two things don't happen very often in Hillston, North Carolina. We don't get much snow and we hardly ever murder one another. Suicide is more our style; we're a polite, college town, and our lives are sheltered by old trees. Maybe once a year a blizzard slips around a corner of the Smoky Mountains and blusters its way east, or a gale swells up from Cape Hatteras and runs across the Piedmont to break up our agreeable liaison with nature; but usually storms lose interest along the way. Whenever one does barge through town, merchants stockpile sleds as recklessly as Carolina blockade-runners once stowed tobacco and cotton. Schools close. Cars spin off the road. People have accidents.

They commit murders, too, but much more often in thought and word than deed. There is some impertinence in being a homicide detective in a town that wants to go on believing it is still too small and too temperate to require such expertise. That I should be the detective obliged to remind them of their susceptibility seems a further affront to Hillston, for I'm one of them. My mother is a Hillston Dollard. Her family has sheltered the town since its founding; they founded it. They sheltered it with pride; defensive, unchallengeable pride in the town, and the Piedmont that circled it, and the state that circled the Piedmont, and the country that circled the state. That's what Dollards did. It was the family business. For me to be searching for killers among us would have struck Hillston as an improper lack of family feeling, except that, of course, as everyone said, we rarely murdered one another.

The trouble was that now Cloris Dollard was dead, had been found dead last Sunday, her skull crushed. She was my uncle's wife.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2001

    Cheers for Michael Malone's UNCIVIL SEASONS

    Michael Malone is one of America's most gifted and rewarding novelists. If you enjoyed his latest offering, FIRST LADY, be sure to read its predecessor, UNCIVIL SEASONS, in which many of the people and places in both books were first introduced. UNCIVIL SEASONS too is an absorbing mystery yarn, but its real pleasures lie in the richness and depth of its characterizations, its wit and humor, its sharp dialogue. Malone, who was raised in North Carolina, conveys a South often regretfully looking backwards as it looks forward, but he does so with no hint of 'Poor us, how misunderstood we are.'

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    Elders den

    Elders den

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted June 3, 2011

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    Posted May 28, 2011

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