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Grievances Hardcover – April 16, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: NewSouth (April 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1588381927
  • ISBN-13: 978-1588381927
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.3 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,682,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Pulitzer Prize–winner Ethridge puts his experience as a reporter for the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer to good use in his first novel, which focuses on the efforts of his autobiographical hero to uncover the truth behind an unsolved murder. Matt Harper, a reporter for the Charlotte (N.C.) Times whose beat includes handling obituaries and the few stories of interest that crop up during the night shift, gets a break when his editor, Walker Burns, unwittingly gives him a shot at a major scoop. Bradford Hall, a well-to-do Yankee who now lives on his family's South Carolina plantation and respects the Times' reputation "for being concerned about justice," walks into the newspaper's offices one day to report that he's recently learned of a terrible crime—nearly 20 years earlier a 13-year-old black boy was shot in the head with a deer rifle in a tiny town near the plantation, and his killer was never found. Harper pushes Burns to allow him to investigate, and soon learns that the authorities at the time did virtually nothing. While Ethridge writes well, mystery fans may be disappointed by the predictable plot and an unsurprising solution. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"A beautifully-written thriller. Grievances by Mark Ethridge is the one to get." -- Augusta (GA) Chronicle

"A well-paced journalistic whodunit. Veteran journalist Ethridge has a real ear for dialogue and a knack for building suspense." -- Wilmington (NC) Star-News

"Ethridge captures the gutty workings of big-city newspapers and small-town America like few authors ever have." -- H. G. Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights

"Grievances is a novel worthy of your summer reading list." -- Tampa Tribune

"Grievances is my favorite new book." -- Rapid River Magazine

"Mark Ethridge ... has told a story as riveting as the best Grisham courtroom thriller." -- Pat Conroy, author of Beach Music

"Mark Ethridge’s Grievances captures the romance, intrigue and sheer fun of good old-fashioned journalistic detective work." -- Doug Marlette, SEBA award-winning author of The Bridge

"Satisfying [and] entertaining." -- Durham Herald-Sun

"While ... undeniably a thriller of the top order, [Grievances] also displays a subtle understanding of race ... and of the South." -- John Katzenbach, author of The Madman’s Tale

"You're liable to be up all night turning pages. What a satisfying read!" -- Cassandra King, author of Making Waves

More About the Author


Since 1990, Mark Ethridge III has been the president of Carolina Parenting, Inc. which publishes Charlotte Parent magazine and the parenting magazines in Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point and Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill.

A native of Winston-Salem, NC, he attended Phillips Exeter Academy and graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 1971 with a degree in history. In 1985-86 he was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

Ethridge began as a reporter for the Associated Press, worked as a reporter and editor at The Charlotte Observer and was managing editor from 1979-1988. He played a key role in the newsroom's two Pulitzer Prizes for public service ' for an investigation of brown lung disease and for the PTL scandal.

From 1989-1998, Ethridge was president and publisher of The Business Journal of Charlotte. He supervised a number of other business journals across the country and several publications devoted to NASCAR racing for Newhouse/Advance.

In 1998, Ethridge became president and part-owner of The Cotter Group, a NASCAR-based sports public relations and marketing agency based in Harrisburg, NC which became a part of Clear Channel Communications in 2000.

He still serves as a consultant to NASCAR Scene, a weekly fan magazine.

His first novel, Grievances, was published in May 2006 by NewSouth Books.

Ethridge is a trustee at Charlotte Country Day School. He is chairman of the board of the Urban Ministry Center soup kitchen and homeless shelter and a board member and past president of the Bioethics Resource Group.

Ethridge, 57, has been married to the potter Kay Ethridge for 33 years. They have two children, Emily, 22 and Mark 18.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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The characters are realistic and colorful.
Katherine
Ethridge's obvious life experiences in the Pulitzer Prize winning Baker series were evident in this story and most thrilling.
Anne Schmitt
Read it for yourself, you won't be able to stop thinking about it when you close the book.
Sharon H.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Matt Bassett on July 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
While Mark Ethridge's ability to tell a well-plotted and gripping story is an uncommon trait among first-time authors, it makes a lot more sense when you consider that he directed Pulitzer Prize-winning investigations at a major paper. In my opinion, this is an outstanding book not just because it moves like a Grisham novel (it does) and not just because its characters stay with you long after you finish (they do.) The author has, quite simply, been there, and his personal experiences give Grievances an authenticity that outshines the rest of the pack. One genuine caveat, however. This book is exceedingly difficult to put down, and may affect your work/sleep habits.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By W. Porter on August 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This fast-paced, engaging novel is an excellent depiction of the segregated, racist South I grew up in. In a small town with a haunted past, the citizens cling to a secret that wants telling, and will plague their consciences until one of their own finds the courage to reveal the truth.

Ethridge also has a lot to tell us about the newspaper business, and he does it with a narrative verve that makes us keep turning the pages to find out what his reporters are going to turn up next.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know why it has taken parts of the South so long to find their way into the modern world, and to be entertained in the process of lerning about it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hugh H. Sprunt on May 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I recently bought and read Grievances and was quite pleased with it. I lived my first 14 years in one of America's most Southern cities, and the characters and the milieu in novel rang true to me. Unlike at least one other reviewer's experience, there were some plot twists that I did not foresee.

One unexpected aspect of the novel that meant a lot to me was reporter Matt Harper's relationship with his dying father; when my Dad was terminally ill, our relationship involved several of the specific son-father issues recounted in Grievances.

The character I enjoyed the most was Ronnie Bullock, Matt Harper's sidekick on the murder investigation. Some readers may believe a few of the more "Southern" characters (both the good and the evil) in Grievances are so off-the-charts as to be unbelievable. Based on my time in the South, I did not think that was so.

Finally, I should disclose that Mark and I graduated from the same boarding school in 1967, though I did not know him well while we were students.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dale Koblenzer on May 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Grievances, by Mark Ethridge takes the reader back in time to a place in our nations history which was marred by predjuice and hatred against blacks, especially in the South. He tells a compelling story that could have easily happened, although the book is fiction. Mr.Ethridge's fast paced story not only captures the south beautifully, but the story uncovers lies,decepetions and family secrets along the way. It is a fantastic read and it deserves a 5 star rating. Peggy Koblenzer
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anne Schmitt on August 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Grievances felt so real as I read it. I could envision the newsroom full of the reporters, I could see the old Charlotte Observer/Charlotte News offices just as they were back when Mark Ethridge himself first became a reporter. And, I could feel the heat of the Lowcountry and the small SC town stuck in a time without equality and civil rights. The passion of the characters who believed in the injustice of a murder of a young African American was heartfelt. Just as equally, the ignorance of those who felt justified in their actions (or lack of) was heartbreaking. Most of all, the powerless victims of this small town were endearing. You want to love and respect them while begging their forgiveness for the injustice in their lives and the generations before them. When a young girl from out of town who accidentally drinks from the antiquated "white-only" drinking fountain is reprimanded by a white woman, you feel the true division of the town.
Ethridge's obvious life experiences in the Pulitzer Prize winning Baker series were evident in this story and most thrilling. In reading this book, you can feel what it is like to live, report and expose something that becomes so important that it changes a way of being for humanity.
Conroy was right to compare this to a Grisham novel. The difference is this novel is real- the characters, places and the story.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dannye G. Powell on May 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Former Charlotte Observer managing editor and ace reporter Mark Ethridge spins a riveting tale of two journalists -- one savvy, one salty -- pitted against a publsher who balks at writers spending time and $$$$ on a 20-year-old murder mystery outside the paper's circulation area. But you can't keep these two delvers down, especially since they have the support of the fire-eating metro editor. Working on their own time and writing obits from the road, the pair heads to steamy South Carolina and manages to unravel a stealthy cover-up. Ethridge treats us to a knock-you-dead surprise at the end, as well as a complex father-son relationship and a tender love story. This guy knows the very aroma of small-town South -- its bitter-sweetness and its sickening stink -- and he can darned sure write. You'll love it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Gresham-Shelton on October 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
With the wry, self-deprecating wit unique to Southerners, Ethridge's protagonist Matt Harper confronts a South of conflict and contrasts.

Throughout Grievances, moments of literary brilliance emerge in unexpected, blessedly quirky ways. From the unclaimed, cremated remains of a nutty citizen who sit, adorned with hat and cigar, upon a copy desk, to the irony of a white, blue-eyed Jesus depicted on a fan in an all-black congregation, Ethridge offers an eye for telling, relevant detail.

The plot moves quickly, and the reader is pulled along, caught up in Harper's increasingly urgent fight against the demons of racial injustice and family wounds. Yet even as the plot's painful crisis of redemption approaches, Ethridge doesn't miss opportunities for irony and the kind of odd, mouth-twitching humor that just comes along with being in the South. I stayed up far too late to finish this book, and the end was worth every sleep-deprived second.
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