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Shortlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2009.
CWA Judges’ comments: ‘Sweetsmoke is an American Civil War drama. Cassius, a slave at Sweetsmoke tobacco plantation, is determined to track down the murderer of a freed woman, Emoline, who once helped him free his mind by teaching him to read. This literacy proves to be a key factor in enabling Cassius to solve the crime. The novel is full of gruelling anecdotes of the slave days and the distortion and corruption of all relationships between master and slave and slave and slave caused by the condition of slavery. The lyrical descriptions of the plantation and its smells and sounds, as well as the powerfully depicted slaves and owners, made for a richly textured read.’
'I will just come out and say it, Cassius.' Hoke hesitated, and Cassius saw a tremor in his hand. Apparently the news had been a blow to Hoke as well. 'She is dead Cassius, that is all there is to it, Emoline Justice is dead, and that is that.' The year is 1862, and the Civil War is in full flame. Cassius Howard, a slave and carpenter on a tobacco plantation, risks everything - extreme punishment, sale to a cotton plantation, even his life - to learn the truth concerning the murder of a freed black woman, a woman who secretly taught him to read and once saved his life. No one gives a damn about her small, rude, unimportant death in the midst of a brutal and hellish war. No one but Cassius, who braves unimaginable dangers to escape the plantation and avenge her death. With subtlety and beauty set against an epic backdrop, Sweetsmoke captures eloquently the daily indignities and harrowing losses suffered by slaves, the turmoil of a country waging countless wars within itself, and the lives of those people fighting for identity, for salvation, and for freedom.
Closing date: 11/10/2018
Publication date: 16/04/2009
Publisher: Abacus an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
|Publication date:||16th April 2009|
|Publisher:||Abacus an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group|
|Genres:||Crime / Mystery, eBook Favourites,|
David Fuller has been a screenwriter for 25 years, and he spent eight years researching this novel, research that led to the discovery that one of his own ancestors fought in the Civil War and was a slave owner.More About David Fuller