From the wealthy suburbs to the remains of Detroit’s bankrupt factory districts, August Snow is a fast-paced tale of murder, greed, sex, economic cyber-terrorism, race and urban decay.
Tough, smart, and struggling to stay alive, August Snow is the embodiment of Detroit. The son of an African-American father and a Mexican-American mother, August grew up in the city’s Mexicantown and joined the police force only to be drummed out by a conspiracy of corrupt cops and politicians. But August fought back; he took on the city and got himself a $12 million wrongful dismissal settlement that left him low on friends. He has just returned to the house he grew up in after a year away, and quickly learns he has many scores to settle.
It’s not long before he’s summoned to the palatial Grosse Pointe Estates home of business magnate Eleanore Paget. Powerful and manipulative, Paget wants August to investigate the increasingly unusual happenings at her private wealth management bank. But detective work is no longer August’s beat, and he declines. A day later, Paget is dead of an apparent suicide—which August isn’t buying for a minute.
What begins as an inquiry into Eleanore Paget’s death soon drags August into a rat’s nest of Detroit’s most dangerous criminals, from corporate embezzlers to tattooed mercenaries.
About the Author
Stephen Mack Jones is a published poet, an award-winning playwright, and a recipient of the prestigious Kresge Arts in Detroit Literary Fellowship. He was born in Lansing, Michigan, and currently lives in Farmington Hills, outside of Detroit. He worked in advertising and marketing communications for a number of years before turning to fiction. August Snow is his first novel.
Winner of the 2018 Nero Award Winner of the Hammett Prize for Crime Fiction Finalist for the 2018 Shamus Award Strand Magazine Critics Awards Best First Novel Nominee A 2018 Michigan Notable Book A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Best Book of 2017 Praise for August Snow
“August Snow is one of my favorite books that I've read recently, and I'm not just saying that . . . The plot just takes off . . . This book is so good, I actually put it down, and I briefly entertained the notion of moving back to Detroit.” —Nancy Pearl on NPR’s Morning Edition
“All of us begin in grace and great promise and, staring at the door left open behind, wonder where they’ve gone. Stephen Mack Jones knows this, as does his narrator August Snow, as does their battered city, Detroit. Jean Cocteau believed the world is a misunderstanding. We read searching for stories that help us untangle some of that misunderstanding; August Snow is one.” —James Sallis
“[A] witty, mayhem-packed first novel . . . Snow’s own voice has echoes of Raymond Chandler’s. Be assured that when the showdown comes, Snow—an action-hero with the heart of a mensch—and his crew prove up to that task.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Man, if you haven’t read Stephen Mack Jones’ Detroit crime novels about an ex-cop named August Snow, you ought to.” —Mike Lupica, The New York Daily News
“Wonderful.” —Nancy Pearl for KUOW Seattle
“Stephen Mack Jones's rock-solid debut, August Snow, is powered by the outgoing personality of the title hero and his deep affections for his hometown of Detroit. This author proves himself a natural entertainer.” —Chicago Tribune
“Jones, a Detroit-area poet and playwright brings the city, its environs, and its eateries to vital life in a mystery coiled around the contemporary crime du jour of cyber-finance meddling. His is that rare tale that, despite its thriller-level violence, maintains a fiercely warm heart at its core—and ends far too quickly.” —The Boston Globe
“Snow—an ex-Detroit cop who won a sizeable settlement after his wrongful dismissal from the force—is the son of an African American father and a Mexican American mother; this ancestry adds nuance to Jones' creative canvas, which is as much about identity as it is intrigue.” —Mystery Scene
“[Stephen Mack Jones] has deftly created a unique multi-faceted character in the best hard-boiled tradition, easily enjoyed by those who appreciate quick-thinking, fast-shooting detectives. This is a well-polished first novel with exceptionally strong characters and unexpected plot twists; it’s a superb start for a new series.” —Lansing State Journal
“Mack Jones’s prose is razor sharp and bleeds compassion. Set in Detroit, this noir novel has energy and wit to spare. A stellar debut.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“[A] polished, gripping debut. Poet Stephen Mack Jones’ novel bristles with energy, compassion, humor and a page-turning plot.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Compelling . . . strong one-on-one dialogue keeps the story moving. August Snow is an entertaining read that gives Jones—and Detroit—plenty to celebrate.” —Toledo Blade
“August Snow is an absolute joy to read from start to finish; Stephen Mack Jones has infused a real love of Detroit into every page. Characters are full of life, with August being a modern day anti-hero to a T, burdened with responsibility he never asked for but with the moral compass to ensure that he gets the job done regardless . . . We can only hope this isn’t the last we see of him.” —The Michigan Daily
“[August Snow] is persistent, courageous, true to his friends... Now here is an interesting book.” —Lincoln Journal Star
“Detective fiction needs a shot in the arm every now and again. That was the feeling of reading Stephen Mack Jones . . . The August Snow series is as promising as any crime fiction to come around in a long while, tapping into the iconoclasm and social justice streaks of midcentury noirs, but taking them in a modern direction, exposing human trafficking rings, abuses of immigrant communities, gentrification, and economic declines and revivals. It’s heady, exhilarating stuff.” —CrimeReads
“As far as compelling reads, this book is what you want. The book takes the reader into the depths of Detroit, exploring, race, class and the cities that contain it all.” —The Rumpus
“Lyrical and sly and rich with a mix of poetry and wisecracking... [the] cast of characters is lovingly drawn, and the setting is a 21st-century map of mean streets that say something about our world.” —Reviewing the Evidence
“No doubt this is detective fiction on steroids, but boy, can that be a lot of fun!” —Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
“[A] hugely likable hero who uses his wealth to bring his neighborhood back to life; a feel for the vitality and pride in run-down urban neighborhoods as good as George Pelecanos on Washington, D.C.; appealing supporting characters who give life to the book's theme of the solace to be found in communities. It adds up to a very pleasurable read . . . We are at the beginning of an excellent new series.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Drawing on the hard-boiled detective template established by Raymond Chandler and refined by Robert B. Parker, Jones introduces a sleuth who is noble, steadfast in a fight with his fists or guns, and manages to charm the ladies. Readers will definitely want to see more of August Snow.” —Library Journal
“Strong prose and a hero with a distinctive multicultural background (August is half African-American, half Mexican) . . . Convincing smartass dialogue brings the Detroit denizens of poet and play-wright Jones's first novel to life.” —Publishers Weekly
“This debut novel by poet and playwright Jones offers a welcome inside view of a city in turmoil and the viewpoint of a Mexican and African American protagonist who now finds himself among gentrifiers . . . where shelves lack heroes of color, add Jones’s work.” —Booklist