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South, America Paperback – April 5, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Author Rod Davis had me right from the start of his new novel, South, America. By the way, don't miss the comma in the title. That pause is important. Davis sets a lively pace...Throw in some voodoo, the mob, race relations in the pre-Katrina South (the book is set in 2000), as well as some classic and modern art, and you have a recipe for a good page-turner."--Gary Jacobson, The Dallas Morning News

"What Rod Davis tackles masterfully in this faux hard-boiled mystery is the capturing in a simple plot of murder, investigation, solution, and deserved punishment of the essential truths of what it is to be born, nurtured, schooled, and acclimated to existence in the American South. [Jack Prine's] struggle to understand the nature of where he truly lives provides this powerfully fascinating novel with energy, soul, and a hope that he'll return in another narrative to 'the hard shadowed streets of the Vieux Carre, the American landfall for the fallen." -- Gerald Duff, Southern Literary Review

"There is much here that brings to mind the Dave Robicheaux novels of James Lee Burke, and Burke’s norteamericano version of magical realism….For readers’ sakes, if not for Jack Prine’s, I sincerely hope those sequels are on the way.”  —Jim Sherman, The Texas Observer

"A fine Southern crime noir novel.... evokes the uniquely beautiful but sometimes deadly topographies of New Orleans, the Delta and the Deep South."--Annette Clifford, Montgomery Advertiser

“…suspense and drama in this gritty volume of Southern noir….The backdrop of pre-Katrina New Orleans is perfect for this novel. Davis paints it in tones that show an abiding admiration for the place and its people, and a respect for its enigmatic beauty.”
Yvette Benavides, San Antonio Express-News

"Rod Davis' new thriller is labeled 'A Jack Prine Novel,' and introduces its world-weary hero, savvy and muscular enough to carry on his back what promises to be an engaging Southern noir series… Like the coy comma in the book's title that redetermines its meaning, the novel proceeds by indirection and sly tangent, through sudden explosions of violence into meditations on Southern history and its persistent burdens on the present.” --Mike King, The Austin Chronicle
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: NewSouth Books (April 5, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603063153
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603063159
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,879,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Sometimes, a simple act of kindness can get you into deep, deep trouble. That's what happens to Jack Prine, the central character in this gritty and well-written new mystery novel. Prine lives in New Orleans and is, in his own words, "trying to figure out a line on my future...." Meanwhile, he is "doing some freelance writing and the occasional unlicensed PI investigation for a divorce lawyer/ex-Army buddy...." Early one Sunday morning, Prine has nothing on his mind but a hangover and a need for a cup of Guatemalan coffee. But while he is walking to get the coffee, he discovers a dead body and dutifully calls the police. The victim has been clubbed to death. Later, Prine gets a phone call from the victim's sister, and she convinces him to meet her, so he can tell her more about what he saw and show her where her brother died. Once they do meet, attractions develop fairly quickly. And Prine soon finds himself drawn into circumstances and dangers that he could never have imagined when he first heard Elle Madison's voice on the telephone. Suddenly, the "unlicensed PI" finds himself having to be both a hard-boiled detective and a fugitive from the Dixie Mafia as he and Elle race through Alabama and Mississippi on their way back to New Orleans, where no safety awaits them. "South, America" is an engrossing tale that is alive with thugs, violence, family secrets, voudou, art treasures, racial tensions, sex...and love. And the book's ending offers an excellent setup for the next Jack Prine novel from Rod Davis.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
South, America was a book that was hard to put down. There were a lot of twists and turns that made it difficult to guess what would happen next - just the kind of book I like. The only reason I gave it four stars is the ending. Once the problem was solved, the rest of the book was anticlimactic. I loved it up until then.
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Format: Paperback
Rod Davis, in his latest work (South, America), artfully strings words together slightly reminiscent of the late and great Larry Brown. Set in the Heart of Dixie--the Mississippi Delta, Alabama and Louisiana, with a beginning and an ending in the Big Easy, exposes his readers to hate, love, drugs, murder, mafia and mayhem while he skillfully brings the novel to a haunting conclusion with a possible hint of the resurrection of the beautiful memory he has been abandoned to. Wow!
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Format: Paperback
WHAT A GREAT READ.

There is a humble truth that Southerners are natural-born story tellers. Rod Davis only burnishes that truth with his new novel, ‘South, America.’ It’s a noir thriller that, like a good Southern tale, starts slow, builds up steam and hits like a Gulf storm.

It starts in New Orleans, where we meet Jack Prine, a sometime journalist, former soldier with a shadowy history and a self-described ‘unlicensed P.I.’ A walk through his Marigny neighborhood for a cup of coffee brings Jack by chance upon the body of a young man beaten to death. He calls the police and later, gets a call from the man’s sister -- and then the story turns even darker.

Davis unfolds a tale that has enough Southern-friend noir to feed two books. A twisted family saga, dark secrets that cross the race line, voodoo, art theft, hired thugs and a Mob enforcer named Big Red who is both understanding and unforgiving. There are rules to living on the edge and Jack Prine knows them -- or at least learns them well.

This is not Faulkner’s South nor is it the gentility of ‘Southern Living.’ Davis reels out his tale of love and crime and misery with just enough line to hook us solid. A crime is solved, vengeance is had and there is no happy after. But we have been guests in the midst of a story well told.

There comes a moment in the novel when Jack notes something like, ‘That’s the thing about South, nothing comes at you head-on.’ But when it hits, you feel it. ‘South, America’ ends with Prine at his home in the Marigny again, alone and maybe wiser. You feel that he’ll be telling us another story soon.

I can’t wait.
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