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Smoke Kings

Smoke Kings

Current price: $19.99
Publication Date: February 6th, 2024
Publisher:
Melville House
ISBN:
9781685891114
Pages:
400
Usually Ships in 3 to 7 Days

Description

“As everything goes up in flames, Mayfield leans all the way into the discomfort zone" - Sarah Weinman, The New York Times

"A fresh and fierce new voice to crime fiction...a stunning book that takes the reader on an intense and harrowing journey that is truly unforgettable. Consider me a big fan." — Don Winslow, New York Times bestselling author of The Cartel, The Force and City on Fire

"Jahmal Mayfield roars to the top of the writer-to-watch list with this sizzling debut. Smoke Kings is straight fire. Every page simmers with an undercurrent of rage, each line a hard dose of smoldering truth. I can't wait to see what Mayfield does next." - Eli Cranor, Edgar Award Winning Novelist of Don't Know Tough

In the vein of Get Out and Razorblade Tears, a feast of noir fiction and probing social commentary that asks us to consider what would happen if reparations were finally charged and exacted.

Nate Evers, a young black political activist, struggles with rage as his people are still being killed in the streets 62 years after Emmett Till. When his little cousin is murdered, Nate shuns the graffiti murals, candlelight vigils, and Twitter hashtags that are commonplace after these senseless deaths. Instead, he leads 3 grief-stricken friends on a mission of retribution, kidnapping the descendants of long-ago perpetrators of hate crimes, confronting the targets with their racist lineages, and forcing them to pay reparations to a community fund. For 3 of the group members, the results mean justice; for Nate – pure revenge.

Not all targets go quietly into the night, though, and Nate and his friends' world spirals out of control when they confront the wrong man. Now the leader of a white supremacist group is hot on their tail as is a jaded lawman with some disturbingly racist views of his own.

As the 4 vigilantes fight to thwart their ruthless pursuers, they’re forced to accept an age-old truth: "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves."

Smoke Kings is a powerful and propulsive novel with a diverse and unforgettable cast of characters. Like Steph Cha’s Your House Will Pay it explores decades of racial tensions through a fictional landscape where the line between justice and revenge is blurred.

About the Author

Jahmal Mayfield  was born in Virginia but currently resides in New Jersey. In addition to writing crime fiction, he serves as the director of a nonprofit program that provides employment support to people with disabilities. SMOKE KINGS was inspired by Kimberly Jones’ passionate viral video, “How can we win?

Praise for Smoke Kings

A New York Times Book Reivew 9 Books We Recommend This Week
ELLE Magazine's The Best (and Most Anticipated) Mystery and Thriller Books of 2024, So Far
A The Times Best Thrillers for February 2024
A Mystery Tribune 32 Best Crime, Mystery and Thriller Books: February 2024
An Apple Debut Pick February
An Amazon Editors Best of Month in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
A CrimeReads Most Anticipated Crime Fiction of 2024
A Kirkus Most Anticipated Books of 2024

"Can there ever be restitution for the harm done to generations of Black people in America? Jahmal Mayfield, in his debut novel, takes this question to a provocative extreme." - The New York Times

"Fearless writers like Mayfield are a good sign that the truth will remain… A THRILLING LOOK AT VIGILANTE JUSTICE” The Washington Post

“Provocative… Mayfield examines the issue of prejudice and justice from all sides… (a) chilling debut thriller.” — LA Times

"At once a blistering thriller and a probing look at pervasive societal fractures in the U.S., Smoke Kings announces itself as one of the most electrifying novels of this year." - Toronto Star

"A debut novel boiling over with intensity and ingenuity...This sharp book balances nuance with exhilaration, and doubt with anger, warding off platitudes in its search for a deeper, knottier truth." - ELLE Magazine

"A fresh take on current events and history, mixed with social commentary. It’s a fast-paced story of twisted altruism that is not only entertaining but also thought-provoking." - The Christian Science Monitor

"Smoke Kings holds its nerve to the very bitter end, proving that race has some way to run as a theme in contemporary thrillers." - The Times

"In Mayfield’s self-assured & righteously furious debut...tough, muscular prose infuses the novel with a beautiful darkness as the characters struggle in ways that will hopefully have the reader thinking too." — CrimeReads

"[A] powerful debut...propulsive narrative, lucid prose, breakneck pacing, and confident handling of controversial subject matter make him a writer to watch." — Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review

"A bravura debut ... A provocative, page-turning treatment of racism in America ... rarely captured as powerfully or affectingly as it is here." Kirkus, STARRED Review

"A compelling and exciting debut" — FirstClue

“As this gut-clenching story concludes there is an incendiary convergence that will leave readers gasping. And that isn’t all, Mayfield closes the book with an ending that had such a twist I had to double check to make sure I hadn’t put on my underwear backwards. This book is that good." - Dayton Daily News

"[A] promising debut... The plot accelerates, shifting from the initial pointed framing of the racial and historical contexts towards increasingly fierce action... Mayfield's not a writer interested in making things seem simpler than they are, and that is essential to the power of this memorable novel." — The Irish Times

"Jahmal Mayfield's Smoke Kings brings a fresh and fierce new voice to crime fiction. Smoke Kings is a stunning book that takes the reader on an intense and harrowing journey that is truly unforgettable. Consider me a big fan." — Don Winslow, New York Times Bestselling author of City on Fire

“Fearless, soulful, and timely. Smoke Kings is a gripping revenge thriller and sly social commentary all rolled into one. Everyone needs to read this book!” — Steve Hamilton, Edgar Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of The Second Life of Nick Mason

“With this searing debut, Jahmal Mayfield ups the ante on the vigilante novel. But beyond the heartbreak and righteous fury, SMOKE KINGS holds up a mirror to America’s soul — and you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t flinch at what is reflected back. I can’t wait to read what Jahmal writes next.” - Duane Swierczynski, author of California Bear

“As tightly plotted as the best thriller, the true power of Smoke Kings lies in its pointed, nuanced rage. Rage at an America that steadfastly refuses to acknowledge - much less address - the brutal treatment of its earliest Black inhabitants, and how that refusal and its attendant violence echoes throughout the centuries to right now, today, this moment. With Mayfield’s fearless, incandescent prose, I was hooked from page one.” — Keith Rosson, author of Fever House

"To say Smoke Kings is insightful and topical are understatements. To say this searing novel could have been written fifty years ago or twenty years from now says a lot about our country and the deft storytelling of Jahmal Mayfield."  -- Gary Phillips, author of One-Shot Harry

"Jahmal Mayfield roars to the top of the writer-to-watch list with this sizzling debut. Smoke Kings is straight fire. Every page simmers with an undercurrent of rage, each line a hard dose of smoldering truth. I can't wait to see what Mayfield does next." - Eli Cranor, Edgar Award Winning Novelist of Don't Know Tough