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In Paris Trout, Pete Dexter tells the mesmerizing story of a shocking crime that eats away at the social fabric of a small town, exposing the hypocrisies of its ways and shattering the lives of its citizens.
The crime is the murder of a fourteen-year-old black girl and the killer is Paris Trout, a respected white citizen of Cotton Point, Georgia, and a man without guilt. His crime haunts the men and women of this town. Harry Seagraves, a prominent citizen and Trout’s defense attorney, has nightmares about it. Trout’s wife, Hanna, bears the abuse of his paranoia, which grows as the town reacts to the crime and puts Trout on trial. As he becomes more obsessed with his cause and his vendettas against those who have betrayed him, Trout moves closer and closer to the edge of sanity, finally exploding with more violence and rage.
Los Angeles, 1953. Lionel Walk is a young black caddy at Brookline, the oldest, most exclusive country club in the city, where he is known by the nickname “Train.” A troubled, keenly intelligent kid with no particular interest in his own prodigious talent for the game, he keeps his head down and his mouth shut as he navigates his way between the careless hostility of his “totes” and the explosive brutality of the other caddies.
Miller Packard, a sergeant with the San Diego police department, first appears on the boy’s horizon as a distracted gambler, bored with ordinary risks. Train names him the “Mile-Away Man” as they walk off the first tee, and even months later, when they have become partners of a sort and are winning high-stakes matches against golf hustlers all over the country, the Mile-Away Man is a puzzle to Train, remote and intimate, impulsive and thoughtful, often all at the same time. …[more]