Ace Atkins returns with Nick Travers to the back streets of New Orleans for his best and most ambitious novel yet.
When music mogul Teddy Paris, a former teammate from the New Orleans Saints, visits Nick Travers and asks him to help find $700,000 taken from a rap prodigy, Nick can’t turn down his friend. The missing money will pay a bounty on Paris’s head that was set by a crosstown rival, a street-hard thug named Cash.
Nick soon finds himself lost in the world of Gucci-lined Bentleys and endless bottles of Cristal champagne. He sets out with fifteen-year-old rap star, ALIAS, seeking a team of grifters that conned the kid. When a killer hits too close, Nick takes ALIAS with him to the Mississippi Delta for the protection and guidance of Nick’s mentor, blues legend JoJo Jackson, and his wife, Loretta.
Soon Nick, JoJo, and another old-school Delta tough guy do battle in the Dirty South rap world where money, sex, and murder threaten to take down Paris’s empire and destroy ALIAS. As cultures clash, the story winds its way through the infamous Calliope housing projects, the newly built mansions of New Orleans’s lakefront, and ultimately to the brackish muck of the Bayou Savage.
“As welcome as a cold beer on a hot Jazz Fest afternoon.”—Washington Post
“Reads like a blues song brought to life.”—Chicago Sun-Times
“As a writer, Atkins knows how to walk fine lines with perfect balance; his books are compassionate, hard and richly atmospheric in a way that never overshadows narrative. As much as anyone else writing, he escapes the sentimentality that bedevils hard-boiled fiction.”— Salon