Cover image for Sweet Sunday
Title:
Sweet Sunday
Author:
Lawton, John, 1949-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Atlantic Monthly Press, [2014]
Physical Description:
266 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
"As a detective, [Turner Raines has] found his niche. In the summer of 1969--the hottest, sweatiest in history, the American summer in the American year in the American century--the USA is about to land a man on the moon, and the Vietnam War is set to continue to rip the country to pieces, setting sons against fathers, fathers against sons. If your kid dodges the draft, hooks up with a hippie commune, makes a dash for Canada, Turner Raines is the man to find him. He won't drag him back, that's not the deal, but he will put you in touch with your loved one"--Amazon.com.

In the summer of 1969 the USA is about to land a man on the moon, and the Vietnam War is set to continue to rip the country to pieces, setting sons against fathers. If your kid dodges the draft, hooks up with a hippie commune, makes a dash for Canada, Turner Raines is the man to find him. When Raines returns to NYC from a tracking to Toronto, he finds his oldest friend is dead. Criss-crossing the US in search of answers, Raines discovers the truth about secret goings-on in Vietnam.
General Note:
"First published in Great Britain in 2002 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson"--title page verso.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780802123077
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Turner Raines is not a typical New York private eye. He'd tell you so much himself, "I may not be the greatest gumshoe alive, but I'm a good listener." He is a has-been--among the things he has been are a broken Civil Rights worker, a second-rate lawyer, and a tenth-rate journalist. But as a detective, he's found his niche. In the summer of 1969--the hottest, sweatiest in history, the American summer in the American year in the American century--the USA is about to land a man onthe moon, and the Vietnam War is set to continue to rip the country to pieces, setting sons against fathers, fathers against sons. If your kid dodges the draft, hooks up with a hippie commune, makes a dash for Canada, Turner Raines is the man to find him. He won't drag him back, that's not the deal, but he will put you in touch with your loved one.

That turbulent May of 1969, as Norman Mailer runs for Mayor of New York, Raines leaves the city, chasing a draft-dodging punk all the way to Toronto. Nothing goes as planned. By the time Raines gets back to New York, his oldest friend is dead, the city has changed for ever, and with it, his life. Following the trail of his friend's death, he finds himself blasted back to the Texas of his childhood, confronted anew with the unresolved issues of his divided family, and blown into the path of certain people who know about secret goings-on in Vietnam, stories they may now be willing to tell. Lucky for Raines, he's a good listener.


Author Notes

John Lawton has written seven Inspector Troy thrillers, two standalone novels, and a volume of history, and has edited several English writers (Wells, Conrad, D. H. Lawrence) for Everyman Classics. His thriller Black Out won a WH Smith Fresh Talent Award, A Little White Death was named a New York Times notable book, and his latest Troy novel A Lily of the Field was named one of the best thrillers of the year by the New York Times. His most recent novel is Then We Take Berlin, the first book to feature Joe Wilderness. At the moment he lives in Derbyshire, England, but can often be found (or lost) elsewhere.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* For most of the country, the foment, tumult, and madness of the 1960s is either dimly remembered or distant history the courage displayed during the civil rights movement and the violence the volunteers faced; the urban riots, the antiwar movement, the counterculture, the police riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. That era is Lawton's subject in his latest historical thriller, quite a switch from his just-concluded WWII series (Then We Take Berlin, 2013). Texan Turner Raines is his narrator in this wonderfully evocative novel. Raines and his law-school friend, brash New Yorker Mel Kissing, join the civil rights movement, and Raines nearly dies in Mississippi. Returning to New York, Mel becomes a reporter for the Village Voice, and Raines finds a niche as a PI, specializing in tracking down draft dodgers in Canada to assure their parents that their kids are alive and well. But Mel is murdered, and Raines embarks on a strange and dangerous road trip to identify the killer. Throughout the book, NASA's space successes offer an ironic counterpoint to the turmoil and excesses of the decade. Author Norman Mailer's antic campaign to become mayor of New York City provides some welcome comic relief. Overall, Lawton has brilliantly captured the careening zeitgeist of the '60s. Those who remember the era firsthand, as well as younger readers, will be engaged, edified, and entertained by Sweet Sunday.--Gaughan, Thomas Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

The summer of 1969, a time of change, activism, and turmoil in the U.S., gets a dense, uninspired look in this standalone from Lawton, best known for his Inspector Troy series (Black Out, etc.). Turner Raines has failed at just about everything, except as a PI specializing in tracking young men who have fled to Canada to avoid the draft. He doesn't bring them back, but instead bears messages from their families. While Turner is on one of these trips, someone murders his best friend, journalist Mel Kissing, in the detective's New York City office with an ice pick. Believing Mel's murder is linked to a story about Vietnam he was working on for the Village Voice, Turner begins an investigation that takes him across the country, to visit soldiers, civil rights activists, and his own fractured Texas family. Events such as the Vietnam War, the moon landing, and Woodstock come across as items to be crossed off a checklist rather than plot points. Agent: Clare Alexander, Aitken Alexander Associates (U.K.). (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


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