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by Richard Helms
Five Star, April 2010
356 pages
ISBN: 1594148546

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Former Atlanta cop and hometown high school hero Judd Wheeler has returned to his hometown of Prosperity, North Carolina to take a position as the town's new chief of police. For all intents and purposes, it has been an uneventful tenure but things in the town have changed since he was last there. The town has had an influx of illegal immigrants and racial tensions have ignited amongst Prosperity's inhabitants. Things are about to get worse when the murdered body of a young Mexican girl is found alongside the banks of North Carolina's Six Mile Creek, a boundary that separates the upper crust from the lower classes.

The story is told through the eyes of Judd Wheeler as he tries to diffuse tensions as he goes about trying to bring peace and to remain impartial when it comes to doing his duties. His job is complicated by Prosperity's Latino community's distrust of the police as well as the local town councillors who are micromanaging wherever they can. Both sides see the murder of Gitana (Gypsy) Camarena as a hot topic with each side blaming the other, unaware that her murder is just the beginning of a larger problem in Prosperity.

SIX MILE CREEK reads like a hybrid of THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW and FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS while still relevant to today's world. The town's racial tensions are a strong element in the novel as are its young inhabitants. Judd Wheeler is the voice of reason in a town where sport is the only thing that matters and everything else takes second place. Most of its young people feel that the only way out of town is through a sports scholarship because there is nothing else left to do. Overall, SIX MILE CREEK is an interesting read, but not one that is bound to make a deep impression. It does have a good story, but it is not something we have not seen in other works or media.

Angel L. Soto is an equal opportunity reader and a book editor at a New Jersey academic publisher.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, May 2010

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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