Willie Black

4 books in series
4 out of 5 stars 33 ratings

Oregon Hill Publisher's Summary

Willie Black is a newspaper reporter who has squandered a lot of things in his life - his liver, his lungs, a couple of former wives, and a floundering daughter can all attest to his abuse. He’s lucky to be employed, having managed to drink and smart-talk his way out of a nice, cushy job covering - and partying with - the politicians down at the capitol.

Now he’s back on the night cops' beat, right where he started when he came to work for the Richmond paper almost 30 years ago. The thing Willie’s always had going for him, though - all the way back to his hardscrabble days as a mixed-race kid on Oregon Hill, where white was the primary color and fighting was everyone’s favorite pastime - is grit. His mother, the drug-addled Peggy, gave him that if nothing else. He never backed down then, and he shows no signs of changing.

When a coed at the local university where Willie’s daughter is a perpetual student is murdered, her headless body found along the South Anna River, the hapless alleged killer is arrested within days. Everyone seems to think the case is closed. But Willie, against the orders and advice of his bosses at the paper, the police, and just about everyone else, doesn’t think the case is solved at all and embarks on a one-man crusade to do what he’s always done: Get the story.

On the way, Willie runs afoul of David Junior Shiflett, a nightmare from his youth who’s now a city cop, and awakens another dark force, one everyone thought disappeared long ago. And a score born in the parking lot of an Oregon Hill beer joint 40 years ago will finally be settled.

The truth is out there, and Willie Black’s going to dig it up - or die trying.

Howard Owen is a novelist and journalist living in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he and his wife, Karen, are editors for the Free Lance-Star. His novels include Littlejohn, Fat Lightning, Rock of Ages, and The Reckoning.

©2012 Howard Owen (P)2012 Blackstone
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  • Book 1

    • Oregon Hill

    • By: Howard Owen
    • Narrated by: Kevin Kenerly
    • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 23
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 18
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 18

    Reporter Willie Black has squandered many things in his life, including a cushy job covering - and partying with - the politicians at the capitol. Now he’s back on the night cops beat, right where he started almost 30 years ago. But the thing Willie’s always had going for him is grit. When a coed at the local university is murdered, the alleged killer is arrested within days. Everyone seems to think the case is closed - except Willie. Embarking on a one-man crusade to get the story, he runs afoul of David Junior Shiflett.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Good, old fashioned murder mystery

    • By VaJSC on 06-20-16

    Regular price: $20.97

  • Book 2

    • The Philadelphia Quarry

    • Willie Black, Book 2
    • By: Howard Owen
    • Narrated by: Kevin Kenerly
    • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 3
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 3
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 3

    The Quarry was where Alicia Parker Simpson identified Richard Slade as her rapist 28 years ago. Five days after DNA evidence recently freed Slade from the prison system in which he had spent his adult life, Alicia Simpson was found shot to death. Almost everyone thinks Slade did it - who can blame them? - but Willie has his doubts. And when the full weight of the city's old money falls on him, trying to crush the story, he becomes even more determined to chase the thing that always seems to get him into trouble: the truth.

    Regular price: $20.97

  • Book 3

    • Parker Field

    • A Willie Black Mystery, Book 3
    • By: Howard Owen
    • Narrated by: Kevin Kenerly
    • Length: 6 hrs and 37 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 3
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 2
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2

    Les Hacker doesn't seem to have an enemy in the world - other than whoever tried to kill him with a high-powered rifle while he was sitting on a park bench six floors below Willie Black's living room window. Les is the closest thing Willie has had to a father figure in a checkered life of drinking, divorces, and journalism. He certainly has better qualifications than any of the other men Willie's mother, Peggy, took in over the years. Of course, as Willie would say, that would only make him a tall midget.

    Regular price: $18.17

  • Book 4

    • The Bottom

    • A Willie Black Mystery, Book 4
    • By: Howard Owen
    • Narrated by: Kevin Kenerly
    • Length: 6 hrs and 16 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 4
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 4
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 4

    Richmond is in a panic. For the fourth time in eighteen months, a young girl or woman has been brutalized and murdered. This time the body of a fourteen-year-old girl is found in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom train station. On her ankle is the same perversely cartoonish tattoo that has led the cops and newspapers to dub the perpetrator the Tweety Bird killer.

    Regular price: $20.97