David Corbett's first book, The Devil's Redhead, was hailed by critics as a searing work of suspense. Now, one of the hottest new names in modern crime fiction is back with a riveting and soulful new noir.

Back in the day, Raymond "Strong" Carlisle made his mark as an ace sideman blowing baritone sax alongside all the biggest names in R&B. Now he lies in the grass outside his home, shot dead from behind and pelted by the heedless rain that mingles with his own blood. He is the first official casualty of a dirty war being lethally waged for control of Rio Mirada: a low-rent, "city in transition" of clashing subcultures at the northern tip of the San Francisco Bay, beset by drug dealers, arsonists, squatters . . . and now murder.

Detective Dennis Murchison--white, weary, home-grown--has two possible perps: Arlie Thigpen, a teenage lieutenant in the crack-and-smack army of a local dealer; Toby Marchand, a straight-arrow, old-school, jazz horn player with some big shoes to fill: those of his father, Strong Carlisle. The smart money says the shooter is Arlie, a two-time loser who tangled with Carlisle the day he died, is the shooter. But too many things about Toby--his shaky alibi, suspicion that he's not really who he claims to be, the fact that his girlfriend witnessed the killing but can't remember it--have Murch doing a double take.

They say there are three sides to the truth. But in Rio Mirada, honesty is in short supply. What's plentiful are people with angles, hidden agendas, and all the reasons in the world to make sure the murder of Strong Carlisle remains a mystery. And the harder Murchison pushes for answers, the clearer it becomes that this single, brutal homicide is just the tip of an inverted iceberg, casting its massive shadow over a town where small-time crime and big-time corruption are about to collide . . . with explosive consequences.

A harrowing, heartbreaking portrait of life on both sides of the law--and the grey place in between--Done for a Dime pays off powerfully on the promise of David Corbett as a writer to watch.


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Done For A Dime
by David Corbett

Ballantine Books
July 29, 2003
ISBN #0345447530
368 pages
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