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Magic Time    by Doug Marlette order for
Magic Time
by Doug Marlette
Order:  USA  Can
Picador, 2007 (2006)
Hardcover, Softcover

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* * *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Carter Ransom resides in New York City. He was born and raised in the small town of Troy, Mississippi. He moved to New York as a young man, and established himself as a columnist at one of the big papers. In his early 40's and still single, his life is falling apart around him. A bombing in a city museum leaves him frantic that his girlfriend Emily and her young son Josh might be victims. Though his fears are put to rest, the incident moves him to speak to Emily of their future. Carter reveals a part of his life that he had never confided during their years together. Feeling betrayed and hurt, Emily needs time to herself to think things over. Troubled by his past, and worried about his life with Emily, Carter finds his job begins to suffer and he seeks medical help. He decides to move back to Troy for rest and relaxation. He does not realize, however, that the conflicts of his youth will be waiting for him.

Arriving back in Troy, Carter settles into the family home where his dominating father still rules. He catches up with friends from his youth and learns that a murder case from twenty-five years earlier is about to be reopened. It was a civil rights case involving the death of four of his friends, one being his girlfriend Sarah. The judge on the case at the time was his own father Mitchell. Now there is speculation that his father was blackmailed to withhold evidence. Carter begins to investigate and interview people who were involved in the case. As he digs into the past for answers concerning his father, he finds family secrets that were covered up, local police officers and family friends who had been leading double lives. Once again tension is running high in Troy. With the case brought to trial it feels like the 60's again, when the black community was fighting for equal rights.

Magic Time moves between New York City and Troy Mississippi, from the 1990's back to 1964. It is a love story, a murder mystery, and an account of the civil rights movement - a great read that will stay with you long after the truth is revealed.

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