The grave on the football field is shallow, and easy to spot from a distance. It would have been found sooner, had most of the residents in the black half of Birmingham not been downtown, marching, singing, and being arrested alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. Police detective Ben Wellman is among them when he gets the call about the fresh grave.
Under the loosely packed dirt, he finds a young black girl, her innocence taken and her life along with it. His sergeant orders Wellman to investigate, but instructs him not to try too hard. In the summer of 1963, Birmingham is tense enough without a manhunt for the killers of a black child. Wellman digs for the truth in spite of skepticism from the black community and scorn from his fellow officers. What he finds is a secret that men from both sides of town would prefer stayed buried.
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A dramatic new look behind a moment in history
What did you love best about Streets of Fire?
It's fast-paced, complex, and imaginative: a vivid look at people from many backgrounds caught up in the events of civil-rights-era Birmingham.
What did you like best about this story?
Each character has a specific point of view - intensely three-dimensional, unpredictable. The way all events draw to an unexpected conclusion kept me focused on the story from start to finish.
What about Mel Foster’s performance did you like?
Very intense and compelling. Fosters explores nuances of personality, accent, attitude and background that give most of the characters a sense of dimension.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Nobody cared why a little girl was murdered. Now one man will discover the truth... a truth that could change history.
Any additional comments?
Well done, Mr. Cook and Mr. Foster.
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