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Detroit ex-cop August Snow takes up vigilante justice when his beloved neighborhood of Mexicantown is caught in the crosshairs of a human trafficking scheme.
When the body of an unidentified young Hispanic woman dressed as Queen Marie Antoinette is dredged from the Detroit River, the Detroit Police Department wants the case closed fast. Wayne County Coroner Bobby Falconi gives the woman’s photo to his old pal ex-police detective August Snow, insisting August show it around his native Mexicantown to see if anyone recognizes her. August’s good friend Elena, a prominent advocate for undocumented immigrants, recognizes the woman immediately as a local teenager, Isadora del Torres.
Izzy’s story is one the authorities don’t want getting around—and she’s not the only young woman to have disappeared during an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid, only to turn up dead a few weeks later. Preyed upon by the law itself, the people of Mexicantown have no one to turn to. August Snow, the son of an African-American cop and a Mexican-American painter, will not sit by and watch his neighbors suffer in silence. In a guns-blazing wild ride across Detroit, from its neo-Nazi biker hole-ups to its hip-hop recording studios, its swanky social clubs to its seedy nightclubs, August puts his own life on the line to protect the community he loves.
About the Author
Stephen Mack Jones is a published poet, an award-winning playwright, and a recipient of the prestigious Hammett Prize, the Nero Award, and the Kresge Arts in Detroit Literary Fellowship. He was born in Lansing, Michigan, and currently lives in the suburbs of Detroit. He worked in advertising and marketing communications for a number of years before turning to fiction. August Snow was his first novel.
A Literary Hub Most Anticipated Book of 2019
A CrimeReads Most Anticipated Crime & Mystery Novel of 2019
A BookBub Most Anticipated Mystery Novel of 2019
Praise for Lives Laid Away
"August Octavio Snow is a big Detroit booster . . . Stephen Mack Jones picks up his gung-ho protagonist where the author left him in his first novel, August Snow—cleaning up his beat-up neighborhood in Mexicantown."
—The New York Times Book Review
"Packed with local color and references, this book will have you on the edge of your seat. It’s an action-packed mystery novel that is both familiar and surprising."
—Detroit Free Press
"A clever, punchy tale set in one of today’s more romantic locales: Detroit. A city climbing back from ruin is a great backdrop for redemptive stories like this one, about a native who is renovating houses on his childhood street to try and rebuild the neighborhood he grew up in. Stephen Mack Jones is also a playwright and a poet, which means he knows how to make every word count . . . Heart and muscle aplenty."
—The Raleigh News & Observer
"Superior . . . August Snow is an uncompromising crusader with a sense of humor reminiscent of Robert Parker's Spenser. He merits a long literary life."
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"This is noir as it was meant to be: incisive, socially conscious, distinctly situated, and told with real style."
"Hard-driving noir, with a strong dose of neighborhood camaraderie; for read-alike comparisons, think Easy Rawlins and his close-knit L.A. neighborhood meet Jack Reacher."
"A giddy, heart-stopping read whose distinctive, vibrant characters come at you full throttle, no holds barred . . . A toast to Stephen Mack Jones, one of the coolest crime writers on the current scene."
—Irma Heldman, Open Letters
"Operatically violent and hilariously funny, with dialogue to die for. I'll read whatever Stephen Mack Jones writes."
Praise for August Snow
Winner of the 2018 Nero Award
Winner of the Hammett Prize for Crime Fiction
Finalist for the 2018 Shamus Award
Strand Magazine Critics Awards Best First Novel Nominee
A 2018 Michigan Notable Book
A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Best Book of 2017
“August Snow is one of my favorite books that I’ve read recently, and I’m not just saying that . . . This book is so good, I actually put it down, and I briefly entertained the notion of moving back to Detroit.”
—Nancy Pearl, NPR’s Morning Edition
“[A] witty, mayhem-packed first novel . . . Snow’s own voice has echoes of Raymond Chandler’s. Be assured that when the showdown comes, Snow—an action-hero with the heart of a mensch—and his crew prove up to that task.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Stephen Mack Jones’s rock-solid debut, August Snow, is powered by the outgoing personality of the title hero and his deep affections for his hometown of Detroit. [Jones] proves himself a natural entertainer.”
“Jones, a Detroit-area poet and playwright brings the city, its environs, and its eateries to vital life in a mystery coiled around the contemporary crime du jour of cyber-finance meddling. His is that rare tale that, despite its thriller-level violence, maintains a fiercely warm heart at its core—and ends far too quickly.”
—The Boston Globe
“[A] polished, gripping debut. Poet Stephen Mack Jones’ novel bristles with energy, compassion, humor and a page-turning plot.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune