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The Scribe: A Novel by Matthew Guinn
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The Scribe: A Novel

by Matthew Guinn

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Dark novel about a detective called into solve brutal murders in post - reconstruction Atlanta. Murder and death scenes described in too much detail all throughout the book. Won't read this author again. ( )
  Pmaurer | Dec 24, 2016 |
A serial killer is terrorizing Antebellum Atlanta, who if not caught quickly will jeopardize the success of the upcoming 1881 International Cotton Exposition. Prominent black businessmen are found dead with a single letter carved into their forehead. Detective Thomas Canby, a disgraced former Atlanta policeman, is called back into town to help find the killer. He is partnered with Atlanta's African-American police officer, Cyrus Underwood.

After reading the blurb on the inside dust jacket flap, I was eager to read this book, especially the relationship between the two officers. I was disappointed to find that Underwood made very few appearances in the book. When he did make make appearance there was little substance, the character was not fleshed out. The reader never understood the motivations behind this character. Did he have a past? How did he break the racial barrier to become the first black police officer? For a character that received top billing on a book's dust jacket flap, I expected more than I read. ( )
  John_Warner | Dec 13, 2016 |
A mystery set in post-Civil War Atlanta. It is 1881, and the city is hoping to gain notice as a progressive Southern city with the International Cotton Exposition. But a series of gruesome murders threatens to scare visitors away. Thomas Canby, a detective who recently left the city in disgrace, comes back to partner with the city's first Black police officer, Cyrus Underwood, to solve the crime. I enjoyed this book, especially the historical detail, but the number of murders that were included between the book's covers prevented much character development. I don't think that this is a part of a series, so I was left wanting to understand Canby and Underwood a bit better. ( )
  porch_reader | Oct 16, 2016 |
Disappointing. I really do love mysteries, but I am picky. I don't like cozy and I don't like gratuitous and overly descriptive violence.

This author was nominated for an Edgar for his last book, so I was hopeful, and LAPL recommended it. It's too violence and too obvious at the same time--I don't want to be able o guess who the guilty party is halfway through the book. At the same time, there were holes in the story that were never explained.

The end of this book certainly makes this seem as though it will be a series. Meh. ( )
  Dreesie | Apr 12, 2016 |
Well done historical novel following the exploits of a police detective in 1880 Atlanta tracking down a serial killer who appears to be the very embodiment of evil. ( )
  dickmanikowski | Mar 23, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393239292, Hardcover)

A reckoning with the persistence of evil in post–Civil War Atlanta.

After leaving Atlanta in disgrace three years before, detective Thomas Canby is called back to the city on the eve of Atlanta's 1881 International Cotton Exposition to partner with Atlanta's first African American police officer, Cyrus Underwood. The case they're assigned is chilling: a serial murderer who seems to be violently targeting Atlanta's wealthiest black entrepreneurs. The killer's method is both strange and unusually gruesome. On each victim's mutilated body is inscribed a letter of the alphabet, beginning with "M." The oligarchy of Atlanta's most prominent white businessmen―the same men who ran Canby out of town, known more openly before Reconstruction as "the Ring"―is anxious to solve the murders before they lose the money they've invested in both the exposition and the city's industrialization, even if resolution comes at the expense of justice.

After Canby's arrival the murders become increasingly disturbing and unpredictable, and his interference threatens to send the investigation spinning off in the wrong direction. As the toll of innocent victims rises, Canby must face down enduring racism, and his own prejudices, to see clearly the source of these bloody crimes. Meanwhile, if he can restore his reputation, he might win back the woman he loves.

With scrupulous attention to historical detail, Edgar Award finalist Matthew Guinn draws readers into a vortex of tense, atmospheric storytelling, confronting the sins and fears of both old South and new.

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(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 14 Jul 2015 10:11:18 -0400)

Investigating a series of murders targeting post-Civil War Atlanta's wealthiest black entrepreneurs, a disgraced former detective partners with the city's first African-American officer in a case marked by fierce racial, political, and personal tensions.… (more)

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