By Carolyn Haines
Jade Dupree is a beautician and an undertaker's assistant with a present for smoothing the ravages of loss of life from the faces of her customers. yet her unusual expertise is not the merely factor that units her except the townspeople of tiny Drexel, Mississippi. Jade is half-black and the unacknowledged bastard daughter of Drexel's "first lady," the imperious Lucille Longier. Jade's part sister, the light, fragile, and bonafide Marlena, is married to Lucas Bramlett, the wealthiest guy within the sector. whereas the whole city is familiar with of the blood bond among the 2 ladies, nobody dares converse the reality out loud. even though her skills as a hairdresser are hugely wanted by way of Drexel's elite, Jade accepts that she'll by no means actually join the city and lives her existence the easiest she will be able to. yet on one scorching summer season day in 1952, Jade's global is grew to become within out whilst Marlena, on a tryst together with her lover, is savagely crushed and her young daughter abducted. made up our minds to discover her niece earlier than it is too overdue, Jade accepts aid from a white sheriff's deputy, Frank Kimble. The forbidden charm that ignites among them threatens so as to add to the violence already brewing on the town. Carolyn Haines has written a number of acclaimed mysteries, yet the following she mines a lot darker, extra severe territory, resulting in a suspenseful, lyrical, passionate, and literary crime novel.
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Lucas asked, and Frank couldn’t tell if he had a better idea where his wife might be. “We’re just checking this here abandoned car. I’m sure Marlena’s just fine,” Huey said, his jowls going all jolly. “Probably got too far from home and maybe had car trouble or something. ” “The car is new,” Lucas said. Huey shut up. He looked at Frank. “Find some evidence,” he ordered. Frank had been back in Drexel for two years. When he’d joined the army and gone to Fort Benning, Georgia, to be trained as a paratrooper, he thought never to come back.
Behind her another stick crackled. There was a grunt and the sound of someone crashing down the bank. She started to turn, intending to confront Big Johnny and tell him that she wanted none of the candy or bribes in his black satchel. She was going to tell her father about the fishing trips, and then Big Johnny would never dare to threaten her with a spanking again. Defiant, she turned, one pigtail brushing across her chest. She opened her mouth to speak. A hand covered her mouth, the grip so hard it felt as if her jaw would pop out of place.
I want him to look like himself. ” “Miss Dupree is with him right now,” Elwood said. “She’s the best in the Southeast. ” Jade heard the scraping of chairs. Mr. Elwood was seating Cora in the front parlor. Jade was about to retreat when she heard Cora speak again. “Jade can fix him. That nigger gal can work miracles. ” The words were a spell, binding Jade to the floor. But she didn’t live in a city. She lived in Drexel, Mississippi, a crossroads town in the heart of the pine barrens. Her life was a straw house of ifs.