White Shadow

Written by Ace Atkins
Review by William Thornton

The true-life murder of 1950s-era straw-hatted Tampa crime boss Charlie Wall sets off a chain of events in this noir-on-steroids thriller. You want cynical crime reporters? We got them, along with dangerous femme-fatales, Cuban racketeering, revolutionaries, and all the seething discontent you can find in the city’s legendary Ybor City district. Imagine James Ellroy taking a cross-country trip and you’ll get the appropriate vibe for this taut, tense book. The language is appropriately hard-boiled and tight, the characters are smoky, sweaty and appropriately untrustworthy. A motley band of cameos by George Raft, Santo Trafficante, Batista and Castro round out the picture of old and new Florida clashing against a backdrop of cigar factories and circus freaks. This is entertaining and compulsively readable.