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Chiefs by Stuart Woods

Chiefs (1981)

by Stuart Woods

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Will Lee (1)

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6162224,035 (4.14)15



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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
In the bitter winter of 1920, the first body is found in Delano, Georgia; the naked corpse of an unidentified teenager. There is no direct evidence of murder, but the body bears marks of what seems to be a ritual beating. The investigation falls to Will Henry Lee, newly appointed as Delano's first chief of police. Lee's obsession with the crime begins a story that weaves through the decades, following the life of a small southern town and the role of three police chiefs in unraveling the crime.

I was drawn into this story and its characters, which included many conflicts with racial prejudice. The good characters weren’t perfect but they were fair and just. The bad ones were prejudiced, dangerous and despicable. There were a few surprises along the way and the mystery of the dead teenager ran throughout the story and made me want to find out how it would end. Overall, a very good read. ( )
  gaylebutz | Oct 31, 2018 |
My father was blind and in the 1980s read books on a cassette player. I was visiting one summer and he and my mother sat at the kitchen table reading this book. I joined them and was entertained, but sometime around midnight chose to go to bed. I woke up very early the next morning to find them still sitting at the kitchen table, having listened to the book throughout the night. This time around I didn't find it as absorbing as they did, but it is still a taut-paced story with a lot to interest the reader. A great summer read! ( )
  PatsyMurray | Jul 9, 2016 |
This is one of my favorite books. It's Stuart Woods' best novel. The characters are so very human. At some points, I wanted to yell, "look out!" Intensely suspenseful. This is a rare instance in which the TV miniseries only varies from the novel in one aspect. The first sheriff bought life insurance for a nickel, in the miniseries, he paid a dime. But read the book! ( )
  BonitaMartin | Jun 25, 2016 |
One of the rare beach books that don't insult the reader's intelligence, Chiefs is thoughtful as well as entertaining. (It is my understanding that Stuart Woods' writing suffered a steep decline after this very promising debut, but I can't comment on that since I haven't read any of his other novels. In this book he demonstrates an uncommonly good ear for Deep Southern dialects.) It's the story of three generations of police chiefs in the fictional town of Delano, Georgia, which for decades is haunted by a series of unsolved serial murders. Further defying the odds, Chiefs was the basis for an exceptional TV miniseries--starring Charlton Heston, Wayne Rogers and Keith Carradine--in 1983.

A minor classic. ( )
  Jonathan_M | Apr 15, 2016 |
Audible. Story of three generations of sheriffs in a small southern town. Starts in early 20th, ends just before the assassination of John Kennedy. All three sheriffs almost catch a serial killer, but the first two die first. Takes up the story of integration in the south through the stories. Not a great book but well done a enjoyable. ( )
  idiotgirl | Dec 25, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stuart Woodsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hammer, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ottoson, MetaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 045121580X, Mass Market Paperback)

Stuart Woods' Edgar(r) Award-winning novel spans fifty years of racial tension, politics, and murder in the small Southern town of Delano, Georgia, where a depraved killer claims his innocent victims even as three very different generations of policemen seek to stop him.
For the people of Delano, Georgia, 1920 was a landmark year. That winter they elected their first police chief, built the first jail. . .and discovered the first body -- the naked, brutalized corpse o a young boy. So began a forty-year manhunt that would embroil three generations of small-town police chiefs in the dark, twisted secrets of their sleepy, God-fearing community -- and expose a seamy underbelly of hatred, corruption, and perversion too terrible to imagine. . .and too virulent to ignore.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:48 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

When a teenaged boy is found dead, the chief of police in a small Georgia town in 1920 begins an obsessive hunt for the boy's tormentor, which leads him to two former chiefs of police, one a murderer and the other the concealer of a secret.

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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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