SUITCASE CITY by Sterling Watson
Kirkus Star


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A taut tale of crime and vengeance along Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Jimmy Teach has led an eventful life so far. He's piloted a boat that delivered illicit drugs to the Tampa Bay area, shot three Guatemalan smugglers, served time in the slammer but had his record sealed, starred as a college quarterback, paralyzed a gridiron opponent and lost a wife. At age 45, he's a successful pharmaceutical salesman raising a daughter alone and vowing to become a better person. But “bartenders know the past always comes looking for you,” and man, does it ever for Teach. Bloodworth ''Blood'' Naylor oozes up from the past; he's a former associate now bent on Teach's destruction. A seemingly chance altercation with a young black man in a men’s room blossoms into a potential civil rights lawsuit against the white Teach, and newspaper reporter Marlie Turkel thinks his troubles will make great copy. Indeed, he views her first article as “a masterpiece of innuendo and insinuation masquerading as objective reporting.” The injured man’s attorney declares, “You, Mister Teach, are going to be on the hot seat, and it is going to be my hand on the switch.” The plot may not be unique, but the telling is masterful and sprinkled with colorful expressions. A detective sees an obvious fact as “plain as the balls on a tall dog.” For all Teach’s flaws—he loves drinking Wild Turkey and has a quick temper—readers will sympathize with him, as he will do anything to protect his teenage daughter.

Sit back and enjoy Watson’s latest. It’s better than bourbon on the rocks.

Pub Date: March 3rd, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-61775-319-0
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Akashic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2015


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