Memphis, the Bluff City, is at the heart of Gerald Duff’s hilariously violent story about lies, crimes, and those who must dig down to the ugly truths hiding beneath false claims made by movers, shakers, and criminals high and low. Memphis cops J. W. Ragsdale and Tyrone Walker spend their days and long into their nights peeling back the counterfeit claims of old wealth, gang lords, and the brutal truths of thievery, murder, and deceit. J. W., a one-time cotton farmer, now chops away in the weeds, brambles, and lies of Memphis, high and low. His African American partner, Tyrone Walker, steers a straight path whenever he’s able. He believes little of what he sees, and he trusts only part of what he senses. Together in Duff’s third book about the partners, J. W. and Tyrone tackle the Ku Klux Klan, crooked aristocrats, black gangs, and the many bluffs, real and imagined, proclaimed in Memphis on the Mississippi. It gets darker each day in that great and gritty town on the river called the Old Man. Ragsdale and Walker are again seeking a beam of light and a glimpse of truth. And they’re not bluffing.
GERALD DUFF won the 2012 award for the best book of fiction about Texas, Blue Sabine, from the Philosophical Society of Texas; the Cohen Prize for Fiction from Ploughshares magazine; the silver medal from the Independent Publishers Association; and a finalist designation for the Western Writers of America’s Spur Award for 2015. He is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters and the Texas Literary Hall of Fame.