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J. T. Biggs
5.0 out of 5 starsComplex and Compelling
Reviewed in the United States on February 5, 2017
When I started reading Tin Hollow, I expected a lot of similarity to Walter Mosely's Easy Rawlins mysteries, but this book was far more complex. The author developed virtually every character in the narrative. He captured the political and social attitudes of the period and managed to work the town into the plot as an active player with its own personality. Race is a central issue in Tin Hollow. The characters are of their time, totally involved in attitudes that were unavoidable for anyone living in the 1930s. J. B. Hogan reminds us in this novel that justice and law are often at odds with each other, and some problems can't be solved even when they are understood.
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat story with a surprise ending
Reviewed in the United States on February 25, 2017
I was pleasantly surprised and was drawn into this story which was full of great characters in the great depression backdrop of the 1930ies and the real racial tensions simmering just below the surface with occasional expression of bigotry which still resided when I grew up in Missouri in the 1950ies. The ending was such a surprise that it would hardly work today. But it sure could have worked back in the 30ties. One thing that I noted is the hero, an educated black man who was able to get a law degree from Howard University reminds me of a co-worker of mine who also graduated from Howard with a law degree but was stuck in a mid level job as Labor Relations Manager in the HR department. of the Electric Utility we worked for. He also never passed the bar exam or he never tried. So I could definitely relate. Even though Washington DC in the 1930ies was a segregated city, it still offered educated blacks a great deal of opportunities beyond was was possible in the town of Jefferson. It took a lot of courage to go home to a fully segregated community basically run by a crooked policy chief and a system that prevents young black men even a chance to succeed. Such is the background of this story. There are lots of twists and turns and of course the surprise ending. I recommend it highly to the readers and I look forward to the sequel.
I was interested in this story because of its setting, I grew up in rural Arkansas myself. That being said, I was impressed with the prose, it is certainly authentic to rural Arkansas, it was fun being transported back to a place and time many people dont know, dont remember, and dont understand.
5.0 out of 5 starsAuthentic Voice, Great Characters
Reviewed in the United States on October 17, 2016
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The racial tensions when a white baseball player is found dead on the "non-white" side of town is tangible. The characters are clearly defined and interesting, and the voice the author uses feels very authentic to me. I admire the character of Carl Tatum very much. He is walking a very fine line throughout this book, and he handles himself and the corruption of his town well. I normally would not be interested in this type of novel, but it held my interest to the very end. Love the surprise twist...
5.0 out of 5 stars160 pages of historical fiction that makes for a one setting fun and enjoyable read.
Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2018
Just read “Tin Hollow” and have to say that J.B.’s Hogan’s Arkansas history chops shine through allowing the reader to live in the depression era south. The almost, bibliography, of all the characters gives the reader a real chance to know them and appreciate their roles in that time and place.
160 pages of historical fiction that makes for a one setting fun and enjoyable read.