Oregon Hill by Howard Owen

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Oregon Hill is a wondrous trip into the world of sarcastic newspaper reporters, bad cops, and murder most foul.
-NY Journal of Books


Willie Black is a newspaper reporter who has squandered a lot of things in this life - his liver, his lungs, a couple of former wives and a floundering daughter can all attest to his abuse. He's lucky to be employed, having managed to drink and smart-talk his way out of a nice, cushy job covering (and partying with) the politicians down at the capitol.

Now, he's back on the night cops' beat, right where he started when he first came to work at the Richmond paper almost thirty years ago. The thing Willie's always had going for him, though, all the way back to his hardscrabble days as a mixed-race kid on Oregon Hill, where white was the primary color and fighting was everyone's favorite leisure pastime, was grit. His mother, the drug-addled Peggy, gave him that if nothing else. He never backed down then, and he shows no signs of changing.

When a co-ed at the local university where Willi'es daughter is a perpetual student is murdered, her headless body founf alongside the South Anna River, the hapless killer is arrested within days. Everyone but Willie seems to think: case closed. But Willie, against the orders and advice of his boses at the paper, the police and just about everyone else, doesn't think the case is solved at all. He embarks on a one-man crusade to do what he's always done: Get the story.

On the way, Willie runs afoul of David Junior Shiflett, a nightmare from his youth who's now a city cop, and awakens another dark force who everyone thought had disappeared a long time ago. As a result, a score born in the parking lot of an Oregon Hill beer joint forty years before will finally be settled.

The truth is out there. Willie Black's going to dig it out or die trying.

About Howard Owen

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Howard Owen grew up near Fayetteville, North Carolina. He and his wife, Karen, live in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and are editors for The Free Lance-Star. This is his tenth novel. his earlier works include: Littlejohn, Fat Lightning, Rock of Ages, and The Reckoning. The protagonist of Oregon Hill, Willie Black, first appeared in a short story, The Thirteenth Floor, which was part of Richmond Noir. Willie appeared again in three consecutive sequels: The Philadelphia Quarry (2013), Parker Field (2014), and The Bottom (2015).
Published June 21, 2012 by Permanent Press - eBooks Account. 241 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure. Fiction
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NY Journal of Books

Reviewed by Sam Millar on Jul 15 2012

Oregon Hill is a wondrous trip into the world of sarcastic newspaper reporters, bad cops, and murder most foul.

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