I finished this although it was so corny and minstrel y I laughed out loud several times Does Morris really think a secretary at Motown Records would speak like this the Tigers done won the World Series Or that every black person in Detroit says D Troit or lacks education in grammar I understand that it is difficult to write colloquial dialogue, but Morris really screws the pooch I kept reading just to see how bad it would get. This is really a 3.5 At first, I was unimpressed with the writing, but Morris s straightforward style grew on me over time, especially as I began to care about the characters and by the end, I cared quite a bit Plus, it was hard to resist a book set in the same locations I walk and drive through on a daily basis If you re looking for a quick, engaging read and you re a fan of baseball and or Detroit, I d recommend this. I have a LOT of problems with this book, most of them based on a middle aged white guy writing first person as a young black activist. This is a quick read and just downright fun Oh, it s about a city I ve known for most of my life Detroit and a baseball team the Tigers that won the World Series when I was a teen So the subject matter had me in any case But the heart of the story is a tightly told mystery tale of the 1967 racial riots that devastated the Motor City, accelerating an exodus from the urban center that still hasn t stopped The protagonists are broadly drawn and tangled in the mystery of the only unsolved murder victim of the riots The fast moving, highly readable story pits a cynical African American veteran of the SNCC campaigns of the South against an equally jaded Irish homicide detective whose officer brother already has moved to the far away burbs And they are both really sensitive males, in an instance of rushing the times a bit Along the way we meet Detroit area denizens that may be composites but all are recognizable from the country club lush who owns the biggest car dealer around to the inner city fast talking lawyer w mojo and connections from the buzzed hippie chick on Plum Street to the elegant receptionist at Motown on Grand Blvd In fact, the streets are still filled w people you probably knew from decades ago The action moves back forth between the Tigers march toward the 68 pennant to the smoky street looting rooftop snipers of both residents and occupying National Guard troops The angry, misunderstood Vietnam vet gets a cameo as do social misfits, black white and both genders What brings them all together are the bleachers of old Tiger Stadium and the constant radio calls of the venerable Detroit broadcaster, Ernie Harwell It s clear the author has done his homework and captured the tones and tunes of the times As auto guys often say about their business, this Motor City smells like gasoline. A very clever love letter to Detroit dressed up as meditation on race relations in the United States dressed up as a police procedural Written with warmth and empathy for the characters. Just as this novel s protagonist, Willie Bledsoe, an idealistic black activist from Alabama, had to write the story of his dedication, body and soul, to the 1960 s civil rights movement, so too, it feels like Bill Morris absolutely had to get this story down And for that fictionalized rendering of accounts , I am deeply appreciative This is the gargantuan story of the racial divide in the U.S., in crystallized form Detroit, during the 1967 racial riot which tore that city apart, and 1968 , the aftermath with its stunningly cathartic experience of the Detroit Tigers win of the World Series in baseball, an event in which the whole gasoline fueled city lifted off as Morris is fond of saying in ecstatic self celebration This is an important read. Willie Bledsoe, once an idealistic young black activist, is now a burnt out case After leaving a snug berth at Tuskegee Institute to join the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, he has become bitterly disillusioned with the civil rights movement and its leaders He returns home to Alabama to try to write a memoir about his time in the cultural whirlwind, but the words fail to comeThe surprise return of his Vietnam veteran brother in the spring ofgives Willie a chance to drive a load of smuggled guns to the Motor City and make enough money to jump start his stalled dream of writing his movement memoir There, at Tiger Stadium on Opening Day of thebaseball season postponed two days in deference to the funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr Willie learns some terrifying news the Detroit police are still investigating the last unsolved murder from the bloody, apocalyptic riot of the previous summer, and a white cop named Frank Doyle will not rest until the case is solved And Willie is his prime suspectBill Morris s rich and thrilling new novel sets Doyle s hunt amid the history of one of America s most tortured and fascinating cities, as Doyle and Willie struggle with Detroit s deep racial divide, with revenge and forgiveness and with the realization that justice is rarely attainable, and rarely just Putatively a crime novel with point of view alternating between detective and quarry, this is really a character study of these individuals However, the largest character is the city of Detroit in 1967 and 1968 and my having lived in Windsor Ontario in those times was my principal motivation for reading the novel From that standpoint I was well satisfied Not much tension or surprise in the crime story though. A few years later, and I remember little of this novel except its portrait of Detroit in 1968 I think it s worth reading just for that, although I think mostly people from Detroit Southeast Michigan would find that picture nostalgic Here s a thing I wrote along those lines 5 years ago Blended my love of the city of Detroit with a fictional story of the 67 riots and the 68 Tiger World Championship.