"Set in an alternate America in the 1920s, this thought-provoking, noir-ish detective novel sings to a soundtrack of jazz, speakeasy hustle, and “what ifs?” around the mistreatment of indigenous populations."
Presenting an exhilarating murder mystery that plays out in a Mississippi city in the heady 1920s, Francis Spufford’s Cahokia Jazz is mind-bendingly inventive. With American history reimagined as having not involved the annihilation of indigenous peoples, and the sprawling, multi-cultural city of Cahokia being an ancient indigenous city, this takes the noir-ish context to new thought-provoking levels. It’s also dizzyingly compelling, characterful and chockful of curveballs you’re unlikely to see coming.
The opening scene sees Detective Barrow and his partner discover a corpse on the roof of a pyramid-shaped skyscraper, amidst “a clot of shadows,” with “the wind full of wet flakes.” It seems the victim has been ritually murdered, and the death will incite mayhem in the city, with culture wars and personal passions playing out against a backdrop of skyscrapers, fog and smoke to a wailing jazz soundtrack.
Cahokia Jazz is nothing but richly-written, twisty and dazzlingly fresh.
|Primary Genre||Historical Fiction|
Closing date: 09/12/2023
Closing date: 10/01/2024