Samaritan by Richard Price

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Ray Mitchell, a former TV writer who has left Hollywood under a cloud, returns to urban Dempsy, New Jersey, hoping to make a difference in the lives of his struggling neighbors. Instead, his very public and emotionally suspect generosity gets him beaten nearly to death. Ray refuses to name his assailant, which makes him intensely interesting to Detective Nerese Ammons, a friend from childhood, who now sets out to unlock the secret of his reticence. Set against the intensely realized backdrop of urban America, the cat and mouse game that unfolds is both morally complex and utterly gripping.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Richard Price

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Richard Price is the author of seven novels, including Clockers, Freedomland, and Samaritan. He won a 2007 Edgar Award for his writing on the HBO series The Wire.
Published January 7, 2003 by Vintage. 400 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Education & Reference, Crime, Horror. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Samaritan

Kirkus Reviews

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That latter dynamic is analyzed with a ferocious admixture of bleak wit and sorrowful compassion, and the story positively vibrates with Price’s trademark virtues of pinpoint observation (e.g., Nerese notices a TV set “so recently purchased that a few minute shreds of static-charged packing foam ...

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The Guardian

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Samaritan by Richard Price 379pp, Bloomsbury, £12.99 Samaritan comes with encomia from those serial pluggers Elmore Leonard and Stephen King, whose endorsements are a lot less reliable than their own product.

May 31 2003 | Read Full Review of Samaritan

Publishers Weekly

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Nobody does urban grit better than Price—or so it was said in the '90s upon the publication of Clockers and Freedomland</EMPHA

Dec 02 2002 | Read Full Review of Samaritan

Star Tribune

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there's Coley Rodgers (a k a Salim El-Amin), a street artist whom Ray supported, and then there's Danielle's husband, Freddy, a mean, vengeful man who might have wanted to send Ray a message.

Dec 28 2002 | Read Full Review of Samaritan

Book Reporter

Ray Mitchell, local-boy-made-good, has returned to Dempsey after a successful stint as a television writer --- a job he landed only after kicking a cocaine habit that cost him his marriage and left him estranged from his thirteen year-old daughter, who now lives with her mother in Manhattan, the ...

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Samaritan

AV Club

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When Mitchell gets clocked with the vase, Ammons finds a number of possible culprits, many related to Mitchell's new girlfriend Danielle, who surrounds herself with dangerous characters, particularly her jailbird husband, a local druglord.

Jan 27 2003 | Read Full Review of Samaritan

Entertainment Weekly

Like most Price protagonists, Ray is a streetwise, painfully self-aware outsider who uses his verbal skills to keep the world -- and his demons -- at bay (like Price, he's an ex-drug addict).

Jan 17 2003 | Read Full Review of Samaritan

Known for writing the best-selling novels The Wanderers, Clockers, and Freedomland, as well as for his more recent screenplays for the movies Sea of Love, Mad Dog and Glory, and The Color of Money, Richard Price turns his attention back to the written word with his recent novel, Samaritan.

Jul 01 2004 | Read Full Review of Samaritan


This time he focuses on Ray, a white TV scriptwriter and former high school teacher who returns to Jersey from Hollywood to reconnect with his teenage daughter, only to land in intensive care with a fractured skull from getting whacked in the head with his own vase.

Jan 20 2003 | Read Full Review of Samaritan

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