Item description for Blood Red Blues: A Devil Barnett Novel (Devil Barnett) by Teddy Hayes...
Devil Barnett a CIA agent with a talent for eliminating special problems a talent he used for fifteen years. But when his father is killed in his own bar the Be-Bop, Devil leaves the Company to come home to run the Be-Bop and finds Harlem greatly changed from his boyhood home. Overrun with drugs, gangs, and self-serving politicians.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.24" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.59" Weight: 0.56 lbs.
Release Date Jun 25, 2004
Publisher Justin, Charles & Co.
ISBN 1932112219 ISBN13 9781932112214
Reviews - What do customers think about Blood Red Blues: A Devil Barnett Novel (Devil Barnett)?
Atmospheric and hard-boiled Aug 17, 2004
Having left the CIA to return to Harlem after his father's death and take over his bar, Devil Barnett is soon called upon to help the police investigate a massacre. Disliking the sleazy politician doing the asking, Barnett refuses. But the six bodies were found over his uncle's strip club, and one of them was a Japanese diplomat, so when his uncle, aka the Sultan, asks, Barnett agrees.
The Sultan is "king of the shadow politicians in Harlem," people who "pull the strings" of elected politicians, and with Republicans in power all over the city, he can't afford a scandal involving a diplomat. The dead, who were dusted in cocaine, also include two assassins who had targetted the diplomat, so Barnett begins looking into the man's Harlem business. He also begins hunting for the one who got away - a young prostitute now in hiding. Is it drugs, politics, business, all three, or something else altogether?
The novel's pace is procedural as Barnett tracks down the various connections and digressions, trying to make time for the bodyrest essential to sickle-cell anemia sufferers like himself. He broods over the changes Harlem has seen since its heyday and even since his own youth as he passes through neighborhoods, renews old connections and makes new ones.
Barnett's voice is hard-boiled. He's a bit bitter over his CIA stint, feeling he'd run into the "glass ceiling" when he tired of "wet work" and looked for a promotion. But he can croon too, waxing warm over family and enduring Harlem traditions. Steeped in jazz rythmns, blues riffs and hard-edged rap, Hayes' debut explores many facets of Harlem, including drugs, prostitution, gangs and Korean inroads, withough speading itself too thin. Hayes' decidedly noir debut, despite a few off notes (the white police captain is a cartoon) offers a complex protagonist, a fast-paced plot and rich atmosphere. A promising series opener.