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Publisher's Summary

With his powers of observation, and the same richness of plot and character, the author of The Emperor of Ocean Park returns to the New England university town of Elm Harbor, where a murder begins to crack the veneer that has hidden the racial complications of the town's past, the secrets of a prominent family, and the most hidden bastions of African-American political influence. At the center is Lemaster Carlyle, the university president, and his wife, Julia Carlyle, a deputy dean at the divinity school - African Americans living in "the heart of whiteness".

Lemaster is an old friend of the president of the United States. Julia was the murdered man's lover years ago. The meeting point of these connections forms the core of a mystery that deepens even as Julia closes in on the politically earth-shattering motive behind the murder.

Relentlessly suspenseful, galvanizing in its exploration of the profound difference between allegiance to ideas and to people, New England White is a resounding confirmation of Stephen Carter's gifts as a writer.

©2007 Stephen L. Carter; (P)2007 Books on Tape

Critic Reviews

"A compelling, literate page-turner that effortlessly blends a gripping whodunit with complex discussions of politics and race in contemporary America....In the richness of his characters, both major and minor, and the intelligence of his writing, Carter rivals Scott Turow." (Publishers Weekly)
"[An] irresistible - and highly intelligent - thriller. Carter strikes again." (Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Joanna
  • Kensington, MD, USA
  • 09-24-07

perfect marraige of writing and narration

There are plenty of published reviews that will tell you how engaging this book is, but narrator Bahni Turpin truly brought it to life. Her voice was the perfect choice for this story, matching the characters and writing style throughout.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


This book went on forever full of incredibly boring passages and ponderous sections that brought very little to the actual mystery. I found it very unrealistic and was very glad when it finally was over and I could listen to something interesting.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Teri
  • santa cruz, CA, United States
  • 12-20-07

Defies classification

For an acclaimed, "literary" novel, this (audio)book is incredibly entertaining. It is a confident, engaging blend of mystery and human/social commentary. The writing breezes along and furthers a top-notch plot, but manages to slip in ideas about people and their relationships in such a crisp, fresh way that it actually helps validate the who-dunnit aspect. I like the way much of the narrative is by and involves some compelling and memorable female characters. Great narration, too.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Bahni Turpin is a wonderful narrator. Her accents were believable and made the story flow.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Best

The author is a superb writer and the narrator does a terrific job!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Believe what you read!

"What critics say" and the Publisher's summary are apt descriptions of this novel. Many chores were not accomplished because I was engrossed in this well-written and well-read audiobook. Can't wait to read Emperor of Ocean Park!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Big ... disappointment

I like big long books, big read at the beach books, long listen-in-the-car books. This was just long. Plot not compelling, characters not sympathetic, human dynamics not credible. Very disappointed.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • bette
  • Beverly, WV, United States
  • 12-17-13

Everything you could want in an Audiobook

Would you listen to New England White again? Why?

I actually have already listened to it twice. I would wait a while and then listen again. Entertaining, smart, looked forward every day to listening while I exercised and eventually started to listen whenever I got the chance. The second listen was as good as the first.

What other book might you compare New England White to and why?

Emperor of Ocean Park. Maybe Scott Turow's books.

What does Bahni Turpin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?


  • Overall

Absolutely Terrible Book

This is the most poorly written book I have read in many years. The story of the black elite is totally unrealistic and rather smacks of someone who knows very little about it. The narrator tries to do it justice, but the storyline is just rubbish. I suspect it's a problem with an academic who may write well for scholarly journals but whose fiction voice is nonexistent.
I should have known better after reading the Emperor of Ocean Park. I will never buy another of his books. I've got two hours to go, but I'm stopping this book now. Absolutely terrible.

4 of 13 people found this review helpful