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Panjangnya: 303 halaman4 jam


1952 in Norfolk, Virginia. The papers are running headlines about Korea, the big conventions and an early Autumn storm churning toward the Atlantic coast. Buried back in the local section beside an ad for Be-Lo Markets are sad little stories about the deaths of two Norfolk nobodies - a retired welder named Wayne Little and a small-time operator named Johnny Boyle. By the next day they're as forgotten as the morning tide.

Detective Walter Winter Hodge is a Normandy veteran and a six-year man on the Norfolk force. He’s seen plenty on the city docks and seedy bars, but this latest, a murder on the Cape Charles ferry, is a strange one. A guy shot dead in a plumber’s rig loaded not with wrenches and pipes but with a half-ton of bagged cane sugar. But like always somebody trips up, and a severed finger found topside points Hodge and his old-school partner Mack Whistler down a trail tangled with Norfolk characters and low-lifes, hillbilly toughs, a snake-handling crook preaching under the name Eustis Gadrow, and the damnedest scheme to peddle enough moonshine liquor to float a coal barge all the way to Richmond. Along the way Hodge and Mack work through the city nip joints and sailor dives, pilled-up hustlers and dime-a-dance girls, and backwaters down in South Norfolk County where it’s plain dangerous to ask too many questions - especially about what Wayne and Johnny were up to with Preacher Gadrow. Things go from strange to bad and finally get settled in a running gun battle on the canals of the Great Dismal Swamp, as Hodge races to save his crew from Gadrow’s boys and the hurricane barreling across the Virginia Capes.

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