Matthew Guinn's second novel, The Scribe, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton in August, 2015.
A reckoning with the persistence of evil in post–Civil War Atlanta
On the eve of Atlanta’s 1881 International Cotton Exposition, disgraced former detective Thomas Canby is called back to the city to track a serial murderer who seems to be targeting its wealthiest black entrepreneurs. The killer’s method is both strange and unusually gruesome: on each victim’s body, a letter of the alphabet is inscribed.
Intent on shielding the city’s celebration of New South industry, its most prominent businessmen—“the Ring”—pressure Canby to tie up the case. Paired with Atlanta’s first African American officer, Cyrus Underwood, Canby must face down enduring racism, and his own prejudices, to see clearly the source of these bloody crimes. Meanwhile, if he can restore his reputation, he might win back the woman he loves.
With scrupulous attention to historical detail, Edgar Award finalist Matthew Guinn draws readers into a vortex of tense, atmospheric storytelling, confronting the sins and fears of both old South and new.
© 2013 by MATTHEW GUINN
Matthew Guinn's debut novel The Resurrectionist was published in July 2013 by W.W. Norton & Company and is available in paperback.
The Resurrectionist was an Edgar Award Nominee for 2014. It was also nominated for the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Achievement Award in Fiction and has been longlisted for the Crook's Corner Book Prize.
The Resurrectionist tells the story of Nemo Johnston, one of many Civil War-era "resurrectionists" responsible for procuring human corpses for doctors' anatomy training. More than a century later, Dr. Jacob Thacker, a young medical resident on probation for Xanax abuse and assigned to work public relations for his medical school's dean, finds himself facing a moral dilemma when a campus renovation unearths the bones of dissected slaves--a potential PR disaster for the school. Will Jacob, still a stranger to his own history, continue to be complicit in the dean's cover-up, or will he risk his entire career to force the school to face its dark past?