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Kiss of Salvation by Waights Taylor Jr.


Kiss of Salvation
by Waights Taylor Jr.

“I’m pretty sure the victim is a prostitute, and the MO looks just like the murder last month,” Joe McGrath said. “The victim was garroted, and the body was arranged like an X. Whoever is killing these women is leaving a calling card behind.”

1947 Birmingham, Alabama, cloaks many mysteries under its segregated shroud: glittering social soirées, secret sexual parties, a Machiavellian civic leader, and multiple murders of black prostitutes in dark alleys. Racist police chief, Big Bob Watson, reluctantly assigns Homicide Detective Joe McGrath to the case. The black community stonewalls the investigation. Joe teams up with Sam Rucker, the city’s only black private eye. Working across the racial boundaries of the day, they take us step-by-step to the city’s heart of darkness in search of an elusive vicious killer.

5-Star Amazon Review by James Kaye

“The traditional American detective novel has almost always been long on sex and violence and short on sense of place and character. But that has now been altered in my estimation by the writer Waights Taylor, Jr. and his exceptional southern mystery, “Kiss of Salvation”. Taylor offers broad panoply of the south in 1947, carefully detailing the first stirrings of the forthcoming civil rights struggle, the corrosive political entanglements and the virulence of racial segregation. Likewise there is a gallery of colorful characters who represent wealth and power and attitudinal paucity, self-righteous religious leaders and corrupt city officials. And it is against this tapestry of intrigue that Taylor so vividly presents his fictional Birmingham, with its back alley conspiracies, human trafficking, and a series of grisly murders. Further, the unraveling of these mysteries is the unlikely pairing of a white homicide detective by the name of Joe McGrath, and a black private investigator, Sam Rucker. Nowhere in any detective fiction that I know of has there ever been a least likely but so successful a duo and their step-by-step solutions. And as to the culprit of the deaths (singular in deed but multitudinous in contributors), Taylor makes you read (and re-read) every detail, including his intriguing title. And yes there is sex, too. In fact, Taylor just might be the new Mickey Spillane. 

 Kiss of Salvation is available at all the stores listed on “Buy Local Authors’ Books Here!” in the Gazette.