Cover image for A rock and a hard place
A rock and a hard place
Wimberley, Darryl.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
260 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A novel of suspense"--Cover.
Geographic Term:
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The only black detective on a tiny police force investigates the murder of a beloved tavern owner. When the detective's older brother turns out to be the obvious suspect, he is pulled in all directions, not least by his brother, who may have the real answer to the murder.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Barrett Raines, the only black detective on an all-white police force in Deacon Beach, Fla., is forced to choose between his duty to society and his loyalty to his family in this unpolished yet promising debut. Barrett's brother Delton has always been a thorn in his side. Despite Barrett's stellar record, Delton's reputation for womanizing and drinking has kept his sibling from getting the respect he's long deserved in his racist hometown. Yet when Delton is accused of murdering a beautiful, popular white restaurant owner in a fit of passion, the only person between him and a lynching is Barrett. The cop arrests his brotherÄthe evidence against Delton is powerful, if circumstantialÄand then sets out to unravel the truth, though his digging is complicated by his mistrust of his self-serving sibling. Barrett soon discovers that the killing may be tied to arms dealers based in Deacon Beach. Wimberly's prose is spare and his dialogue catchy. The novel contains excess exposition that often interrupts momentum, however. In addition, a subplot involving Barrett's wife and two sons drags on the narrative, and some of the switches in point of view can be confusing. In short, the book reads like a novel in search of a final draft. Wimberly's launch may not be for readers looking for sophisticated intrigue and complex plotting, but its successful depiction of small-town corruption should appeal to those with a fondness for the pulpy side of the tracks. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Detective Barrett Raines overcomes racial prejudice to become the first black detective on the Deacon Beach, FL, police force. When his ne'er-do-well older brother stands accused of murdering a popular white woman, however, local prejudices reemerge. Can Barrett maintain the equilibrium necessary to investigate the case and fend off the unwanted stress? He can, and he follows a tiny clue that leads from purported blackmail to money laundering and gun smuggling. Glittering nuggets of detail, energized prose, and an admirable detective make this first mystery most worthwhile. Strongly recommended. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.