Author Stuart Woods' riveting novel spans three generations while also probing deep into Southern small-town attitudes and behavior. The residents of Delano, with their reluctance to disturb a familiar social order, provide the perfect backdrop for this tale of dark secrets and murder.
Over 40 years ago, Woods found a battered chief-of-police badge in his grandmother's house. It had belonged to his grandfather, who had been shot in the line of duty. The story of the lawman's death inspired Woods to write Chiefs, which won an Edgar Award and was made into a popular TV miniseries.
©1981 Stuart Woods; (P)2006 Recorded Books LLC
"A riveting story of the Deep South that mixes murder mystery with political intrigue." (Publishers Weekly)
"A fascinating, compelling tale." (The New York Times)
"The homey wisdom of [Hammer's] voice, coupled with Woods's engaging story, makes this audiobook memorable." (AudioFile)
This book should be required reading for High School (12th grade) and College students.
Understanding of the political system in America and why people do what they do, is all here.
The narrator brings, Mr. Hammer, brings the voice and the attitude of the times so that understanding in context is assured.
Can't put down
I love the story line where it goes through the generations. It is easy to listen to and so interesting you don't want it to end. I love this series and this is one of, if not the best.
Will Henry Lee
This is just a great all around read. It has something for everyone.
A good look at life in a Southern small town between the 1920s and 1960s. The slow pace of life matched by the pace of the narrator. It was a refreshing change after listening to so many novels read with such urgency and drama. Story centered on a small town, but expanded here and there to a state and national level, which I liked. There are three generational stories that flow well from one to the other, with a dark mystery running through all three. I highly recommend this book.
I was somewhat reluctant to buy a book from 1980, but I was familiar with Stuart Woods and his Stone Barrington series and thought this would be a typical light, fun, read but I was blown by the depth of this book. Reminded my of To Kill a Mockingbird and In the Heat of the Night. This was a generational murder mystery wrapped loosely around an in-depth story of the Deep South in the 20's to the 60's. Wonderfully woven and emotionally charged, this book will have you reading to the wee hours.
This is the best Stuart Woods book, but the Audible version was amateur. I could often hear the narrator swallow. Sometimes there was not even a pause between chapters...they just ran together. Someone needs to re-edit this before selling it.
The narrator was professional and skillful; the editing made him seem like a beginner. No doubt he would be embarrassed if he listened to it.
It's up near the top. It had all the elements of great story telling, it presented atmosphere, characters and a story line that wove through multiple levels.
Will Henry, the first chief won my heart right from the start.
I was very involved in the story line, as I loved the homespun quality of the setting.
I listen to lots of books... this is a good story, interesting idea. However, if I didn't have double time speed I would have slept thru the entire book.
Say something about yourself!
An actual southern accent from a narrator that has stepped foot in Georgia, and a more realistic depiction of rampant racism behind closed doors in Georgia before 1970.
Although this story started out slow, I soon was hooked on all the characters and the mystery.
This story covers three generations of families, so it was really interesting to follow the characters as they aged.
Will Henry Lee.
Yes, the end of the first segment (I won't spoil it). Quite an unexpected ending!
I've just started listening to Stuart Woods. Now he is one of my favorite authors!
This book started out much better than it ended...it could have easily been edited down to two volumes, overly descriptive. The performance by Hammer is really top notch and kept me into it. The description of the book is a bit misleading as the real purpose here seems to be to rehash the history of the south and civil rights, which is fine, but I've been through that in many other books. There is a mystery of missing persons and that does get tied in throughout the novel but in reality that is a sub plot.
"A wonderful audiobook"
I have just listened to Chiefs and cannot recommend it too highly; it works both for lovers of a great detective story and those who like a very good story, beautifully narrated.
Like many of the books I've chosen since joining Audible, this is yet another author I seem to have missed - much to my regret - but I certainly cannot wait until next month when I will listen to the same author again.
Over the past couple of years I have listened to a constant stream of crime and thriller audiobooks. Though most are enjoyable, there are very few that stand out as memorable. This is one. It is a well written and beautifully read. It made an impression on me to an extent that I remember the plot and characters and enjoyed the fact that not all the ends were tied up at the end. I can recommend this as a truly entertaining download.
Great book to listen to. I was impressed with the several stories which the author effortlessly assembles in one book. Inevitably, the book is lengthy, but all story lines deserve to be told. Emancipation of afro americans in the south, small town living and a gripping murder story evolving through the years, it all blends together. Since listening to this book, I am a fan of Stuart Woods.
"A very fine book and superbly narrated"
I've not much to add to what other reviewers have said. This is a very fine book indeed, and works on three levels - as a first class thriller/detective story, as a thoughtful novel of the Deep South's painful evolution from racism, and a very convincing picture of how a town evolves and grows over time. Despite its length, the book never slackens in pace or lose the interest.
The narration is really fine too - apart from a rather clunky English accents for one of the characters, but this is only a minor point.
one of the best
First rate in every respect, wonderful writing wonderful narration and a complete absence of padding. I just did not want this book to end.
I was a bit unsure if I would enjoy the political side of this, but it is brilliantly narrated and written. I tried to make it last, but was unable to let go of the ipod as the plot unfolded.
If you do not listen to this you have missed something special.
"Soft and hard"
A fascinating listen. It starts gentle and entices you with the story of a small town at its origins, then just as you are drawn into the characters the vice starts to turn and the darkness underneath comes out. Three times you learn to like people then learn to fear for their lives. Three times the social history of America at the grass roots is exposed. Well worth listening to.
"What a pleasure"
There is nothing of this book I would not recommend: content or narration. The author's knitting together of the crime, the decades, racial issues and three of the town's police chiefs was compelling. There was no point in any of the hours and minutes of listening to this book when I did not care what would happen next. This was also thanks to the beautiful narration. Southern American accents have never been my favourate but I might now have to change my mind.
This is a very fine novel, not just a thriller or crime novel, but a terrific book. Fans of Cormac McCarthy will love both the story and the writing style, as slow as the South but always gripping. The reader is superb and if I could give this book 6 stars I would - listen to it!
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