When "The Emperor of Ocean Park" was published, the "Observer" declared: "The book is superb, both as a thriller and as a novel of social observation." Now, with that same astute social observation, narrative drive, and richness of plot and character, Stephen Carter returns us to the New England university town of Elm Harbor where the murder of a ...
When "The Emperor of Ocean Park" was published, the "Observer" declared: "The book is superb, both as a thriller and as a novel of social observation." Now, with that same astute social observation, narrative drive, and richness of plot and character, Stephen Carter returns us to the New England university town of Elm Harbor where the murder of a renowned African-American economist opens a door on the racial complications of the town's past, on one family's secrets, and on the most hidden and powerful bastions of African-American political influence. At the centre are Lemaster and Julia Carlyle. He is president of the university, she is a dean at the divinity school - African-Americans living in 'the heart of whiteness'. Lemaster's connections lead to the President of the United States, his old college room-mate. Julia is connected to the dead man, Kellen Zant, her lover before she met Lemaster. The meeting point of these connections - a murder committed and covered up in Elm Harbor thirty years ago, and the shocking plans carried out by a fraternity of the 'darker nation' - forms the core of a mystery that deepens even as Julia, guided by clues left her by Zant, closes in on the politically earth-shattering motive behind his murder. Suspenseful from first to last, galvanising in its exploration of the profound difference between allegiance to ideas and to people, "New England White" is a resounding confirmation of Stephen Carter's gifts as a writer of fiction.
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Publishers Weekly, 2007-09-24 Turpin's reading of Carter's second novel is sublime. In a book where each character's race is important, capturing that fact for the ear alone is a balancing act to be taken quite seriously. The story opens with a body found on the roadside by Julia Carlyle and her university president husband, Lemaster (both had minor roles in Carter's The Emperor of Ocean Park). It turns out to be an ex-lover of Julia's and a possible blackmailer of Lemaster. What ensues is a gripping tale of race, murder, politics, conspiracy theory and secret societies that revolves around a 30-year-old case involving a dead white girl and an accused, now dead, black attacker. Turpin's prowess in the aural world is apparent, not only when nailing regional accents but in much more subtle ways, like a conversation between two women of roughly the same age who are clearly distinguishable from each other by one's slight smoker's rasp. The story is literate and fast-paced, and Turpin's well-rounded characters keep the fire fueled. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Reviews, May 7). (July) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2007-05-07 Two lesser characters from Yale law professor Carter's bestselling first novel, The Emperor of Ocean Park (2002)-husband and wife Lemaster and Julia Carlyle-take center stage in his second, a compelling, literate page-turner that effortlessly blends a gripping whodunit with complex discussions of politics and race in contemporary America. Lemaster, one of the country's most influential African-Americans, has recently begun his tenure as president of a prestigious New England university. As he and Julia, who serves as a dean in the university's divinity school, drive home one snowy night, they happen upon the corpse of Professor Kellen Zant, a brilliant economist as well as Julia's former lover. The murder threatens to shatter not only the Carlyles' marriage but also the fragile psyche of their precocious but troubled daughter, Vanessa-and may affect the upcoming, bitterly contested race for the White House. Julia proves an unlikely but dogged investigator, who looks beyond the official verdict that Zant was killed in a chance encounter with a robber. In the richness of his characters, both major and minor, and the intelligence of his writing, Carter rivals Scott Turow. Expect another bestseller. 300,000 first printing; author tour. (July) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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