Reviews of Darryl Wimberley's Books:
"...If hard-boiled is what you're after, Raines qualifies as the black hero du jour."
"...Wimberley delivers a character-rich plot thick with treachery..."
-Ian Vasquez, Shamus Award-winning author of Mr. Hooligan
"Hapless, handsome Jack Romaine, a small-time gambler and drinker in 1929 Cincinnati, tracks a mysterious woman who's the key to a hidden fortune in Wimberley's evocative mystery... Best known for his Florida-based Bear Raines series (Pepperfish Keys, etc.), Wimberley invests both Jack and the carnie freaks with distinct personalities and common dignity. This vividly captured subculture has its own grotesque charm and beauty."
"Special agent Barrett 'Bear' Raines has some slippery fish to fry in Wimberly's cleverly constructed fourth procedural... Wimberly is a top-notch writer with command of both his plot and the northwestern Florida coastal setting."
"Raines should join Robicheaux, John Sanford's Lucas Davenport, and Robert B. Parker's Spenser at the hard-boiled-hero head table."
The King of Colored Town:
"It reads like Harper Lee's classic To Kill a Mockingbird but with an edge—a razor's edge... Wimberley writes a page-turner so compelling that the reader will finish it in a day if only to find out what will happen next... He creates complex characters, worthy of despising and falling in love with, characters to break your heart. And they do."
-San Antonio Current
"[A]n impassioned and eloquent piece of storytelling."
"This fine novel is about the rigors and sometimes unintended consequences of racial integration in our tormented country... fascinating."
-The Washington Post
"(Starred Review) Wimberley combines a vividly realized setting and compelling procedural detail with a sensitive and thought-provoking treatment of racial and social issues...In addition, the pacing is sharp, and the suspense builds dramatically (the book races to minor climaxes that fool the reader into thinking the story has come to a premature end). This third entry in the Barrett Raines series deserves to be the breakthrough book for Wimberley. Highly recommended for all lovers of mainstream hard-boiled mysteries."
"[A] powerful police procedural that augments the investigation with the political side of law enforcement. The story line is filled with action that never lets up until the case is solved. Bear is a great character whose morality keeps him trying to do the right thing while his wife enhances the reader's understanding of his complex character. Darryl Wimberly has written a strong tale that sub-genre fans will appreciate."
"Best of the series so far..."
A Tinker's Damn:
"The author of two mystery novels, Darryl Wimberley is a talented writer, one who expertly describes not just flora and fauna but also the characters who exist in this lush yet brutal landscape—for example, Tink's wife, part Creek Indian, who learns to tiptoe around her husband's obsessions, or Dave Ogilvie, a planter in expensive clothes who isn't quite what he appears to be. Most impressively, Wimberley has caught the essence of people's lives, from the turpentine workers to the son of the man killed in the swamps, showing how frustration carves out character and then character becomes destiny."
-The New York Times Book Review
"A moving, deeply felt story about fathers and sons, sins and redemption...Wimberley turns from mysteries to mainstream fiction with fine results: characters to empathize with, and the kind of solid, no-nonsense storytelling altogether too rare these days."
"Enthralling... Wimberley paces his story well, leavening its foreboding atmosphere with his hero's enthusiastic observations of the surrounding plant life. (Carter [Buchanan] once aspired to become a botanist.) The author's descriptions of tobacco curing and turpentine harvesting blend easily into his narrative flow and advance the story as well, instead of sticking out like the poorly digested results of a run to the library. The dialogue is lively and occasionally crackles with homespun wit...Darryl Wimberley, author of the well-received Barrett Raines mysteries, has taken an impressive step in a different direction with A Tinker's Damn."
-The Washington Post
Dead Man's Bay:
"It is, perhaps, damning with faint praise, but for a great summer read you can't do much better than Austinite Darryl Wimberley's Dead Man's Bay... [A]s comfortable and quirky as family but with sass and wit. If you don't love Raines, put two fingers on your wrist and check your pulse."
"When he debuted in A Rock and a Hard Place, Darryl Wimberley's Barrett Raines was the most fascinating cop hero to ride onto the mystery scene since Hoke Moseley. With Dead Man's Bay, Wimberley has more than sidestepped the sophomore slump. He has made a quantum leap into the first rank of mystery writers with uncanny speed; he has become that good that quickly...Don't call Barrett Raines the best new hard-boiled cop nor the best black cop—just call him the most interesting cop on the block. Period."
-The Austin Chronicle
"Wimberley... weaves a special atmosphere with his wonderful descriptions of place and use of sharp, snappy dialog with a little vernacular thrown in. No word is wasted. The suspense builds with twists and turns and takes a surprising slick twist at the end. Wimberley grabbed me from the first pages and never let go. I caught myself cheering Bear on with the turn of each page."
"Darryl Wimberley... provides the audience with an action-packed police procedural that has readers wondering what will happen next... The support cast augments the tale with likable individuals..."
"A most enjoyable mystery... The author's voice is strong and colorful... The main characters are well-defined and likeable, even when they are disagreeable. The villain is as chilling as you can get without becoming farce. The dialogue is smooth."
-The Charlotte Austin Review
A Rock and a Hard Place:
"Wimberley paints a compelling portrait of small-town corruption and bigotry...The dialogue is catchy and the author shows a real flair for characterization, especially of the complex Barrett... Wimberley makes us want to take another visit to Deacon Beach."
-Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
"Glittering nuggets of detail, energized prose, and an admirable detective make this first mystery most worthwhile. Strongly recommended."
"An expert storyteller with a voice that bears the grit of experience and confidence, Wimberly creates a sense of ambivalence and danger... The reader's attention glides from one viewpoint to another with the ease of a deftly handled Steadicam, with spicy tough-guy dialogue and plenty of tips of the fedora to all the right classic movies. Move over, Florida tough-guy writers, I think I see a hit series coming on strong."
-The Austin Chronicle
"Austinite Darryl Wimberley makes his fiction debut with A Rock and a Hard Place, which could be subtitled 'Cops Are People Too.' It neatly contrasts black detective Barrett Raines's family life with his no-time-for-crying homicide investigations. In the mode of the late, great Charles Willeford, Wimberley chisels out a rough-and-ready tale of murder, suicide, and gunrunning in a tiny Florida coastal town."
"Promising debut...Wimberley's prose is spare and his dialogue catchy. [A] successful depiction of small town corruption."
"This is a very powerful book by a very talented first author."
"An engrossing police procedural... Darryl Wimberley successfully escorts his audience into the ugly abyss confronting police officials as they work vicious crimes. Barrett is a great individual, who deserves return engagements in future novels..."
"An exciting novel."
-The Island Bookseller, S.C.
"An impressive debut."
-The American Dust Company Book Sellers, N.Y.
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