Uncivil Seasons: A Justin & Cuddy Novel
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.
himself mean more to you than filthy lucre?’ Know what he said? He said, ‘No.’ Now, who’d suspect he could talk so short? So, I get him the money, don’t ask where from, but Hiram Davies would go rabid and chew up his desk. So now Phelps says, ‘Here’s the rest of it’ The ‘rest’ meaning a bill for, one, dry-cleaning his coat; two, replacing his fedora; and three, outpatient services to paint Mercurochrome on his noggin. Meanwhile, Savile, you owe Phelps seventy-five dollars a month for the rest of
you’re crazy, don’t envy me! Thank your stars you’re so petite and don’t have to lug these damn things around with you everywhere you go!” She put her hands beneath her breasts and pushed them up. I recall my sudden wonder at all that amplitude of flesh, so different from my slender mother’s body. I recall my squirming flush as I realized they were talking about their breasts. When I called to tell my mother that Cloris was dead, she had sobbed, “Oh, my God, where’s Rowell? Is he there? Oh, poor
spider tank atop the main factory, so that I could see his oddly white hair before he pulled on the orange John Deere cap, I knew that it was Willis. “Go home, I’ll come there!” I abruptly told Alice. And I started running hard toward the trailer, cutting across aisles of moving cars. I was not close enough to catch him when Willis saw me and saw that I was coming for him. He sprinted off around the side of the trailer. I heard a car rev, and then the tan Camaro came out fast. I was right in his
for Ames, but could get him for her.” “Could be. Kinda doubt that was her motive.” His cough started again. As we said our good-byes, I told him I had hopes of getting married by summer. He wished me well. “Hope is all I have to go on now,” I said, and thought that I was beginning to sound like Cuddy Mangum. I added that the woman I wanted to marry me was from the mountains and had never seen the Banks, and that I’d like to bring her out there. “And I’d like to have her meet you then, if that’s
screaming its goddamn head off. These are the good times, son. Don’t throw them away saying, ‘No, thanks.’ Things just get worse and worse. They truly do. You’ll wake up one morning, and it’ll hurt just to move. Go on. I’ve got to go take a leak. I just took one, half an hour ago. That all goes to hell too. Come on, Duchess.” His old cocker spaniel lurched to her feet and paddled after him as he left me standing there with the horse and walked with his stiff carefulness to the stable office