Out of the Blues

Putnam. 2016. 352p. ISBN 9780399167263. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698140707. F
Sarah Alt, known to her colleagues as "Salt," is a rising star in the Atlanta Police Department. Recently promoted to homicide, she is assigned an old case involving the accidental overdose of a young blues musician. A new witness insists on foul play, claiming the incident a cleverly concealed murder. In a bizarre twist, Salt realizes this witness is none other than Curtis Dwayne Stone, a vicious and deranged street thug who tried to kill her less than a year ago. Revisiting her old haunts in the housing projects, Salt reconnects with many of her past associates from her days as a beat cop as she digs deeper into the allegation. She discovers a hornet's nest of cover-ups and graft that endanger her career and perhaps even her life.
VERDICT This first novel by a retired police officer from Atlanta unfortunately fails to deliver an effective story. While there are some gripping passages, Salt never fully comes alive, and the intersecting and various story lines feel convoluted. Still, there will be strong regional demand. [See Prepub Alert, 8/17/15.]
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