The Philadelphia Quarry
By Howard Owen
The Permanent Press, Paperback, 9781579623357
Publication Date: July 21, 2013
List Price: $28.00*
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Willie finds himself neck-deep in a part of Richmond that a boy growing up in Oregon Hill could only experience through illicit midnight stories at the city's most exclusive swimming hole. The Quarry was where Alicia Parker Simpson identified Richard Slade as her rapist, 28 years ago. Then, five days after DNA evidence freed Slade from the prison system in which he had spent his adult life, Alicia Simpson is shot to death.
Hardly anyone doubts that Richard Slade did it. Who could blame him? But Willie has his doubts. When the full weight of the city's old money falls on him, trying to crush the story, he only becomes more determined to chase the things that always seems to get him in trouble - the truth. The fact that Richard Slade is his cousin, a link to his long-dead African-American father, only makes Willie more tenacious.
In the end, Willie will be drawn back to the Philadelphia Quarry, where it all started so long ago and in whose murky waters the truth lies.
"Owen is particularly good at character development and takes a familiar race and class struggle plot to a new level. His second entry featuring crime reporter Willie Black (after the Hammett Prize finalist Oregon Hill) is a stellar mystery deserving of a wide readership." --Library Journal, Starred Review
"Against a backdrop of advertising-suppressed investigative print journalism, Owen uses race and class, coupled with a Faulkner-ian family tragedy, to provide a powerful narrative engine. While the complex noir drama keeps the pages turning, the murderer and motivation complete the storyline perfectly. A quick-flowing crime drama that will have fans eager for Willie Black to right another injustice." --Kirkus
"A modern noir mystery with convincing characters, evocative locations, and a wonderful feel for the changing world of news, ,The Philadelphia Quarry offers a plot that's neither overly complex nor too simple, while exploring the relationships of parents and children through families rich and poor, black and white, and in-between." --Café Libre