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August Snow

(August Snow #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,415 ratings  ·  430 reviews
Tough, smart, and struggling to stay afloat, August Snow is the embodiment of Detroit. The son of an African American father and a Mexican mother, August grew up in Detroit's Mexicantown and joined the Detroit police only to be drummed out of the force by a conspiracy of corrupt cops and politicians. But August fought back; he took on the city and got himself a $12 million ...more
Hardcover, 313 pages
Published February 14th 2017 by Soho Crime
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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Start your review of August Snow (August Snow #1)
“There is a superhero in all of us, we just need the courage to put on the cape.”
– Superman

My first impression of August Snow, the man, is a larger than life, over the top, like the quote above, superhero but one without the cape. A former Detroit Cop, he's wealthy, cleanly wealthy, having won a $12 million wrongful termination suit. Recently returned to his hometown city of Detroit he is summoned to the ritzy digs of Grosse Pointe by the despicable, Eleanor Paget who needs his help. He's not
Jun 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A debut novel, an over-the-top lead character with a conflicted past, a sinister international criminal organization, an eccentric wealthy family, sex, violence, good food, yadda-yadda-yadda, still, it's worth a read.

Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
After the cover and dust jacket blurb of this novel caught my eye, I knew that I would give Stephen Mack Jones a try. Mixing some police procedural with gritty racial struggles, this series debut will surely interest many who enjoy the genre, but are not afraid to tackle some of the more taboo issues that arise in a city where equality is not even faked. August Snow is half-Black, half-Hispanic, using this unique cultural mix to his advantage. Returning to Detroit after a year away, much has cha ...more
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, soho-press
What really makes Soho's crime novels stand out is their settings. You truly feel transported, whether the book is set in Bath, England, Paris, France, or, as in this book, Detroit, Michigan. Now, you might not think you want to spend time in Detroit, but I've been there a couple of times in the last 5 years and it's really not bad. Unlike what the news reports, there is still stunning architecture, nice people, and interesting culture (I highly recommend the DIA, the Detroit Institute of Art.) ...more
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
I’ve been doing some research trying to finish writing my first novel. As an aspiring noir author, I come across a ton of noir fiction that is set in NY and Los Angeles. It’s refreshing to see authors popping up writing noir fiction from cities that aren’t along the coasts. While reading August Snow, I couldn’t help thinking about the parallels between the Motor City and my hometown, Milwaukee. They’re both midwestern cities run down by poor city management and both dealing with gentrification, ...more
Ryan Mishap
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-crime
I was feeling at home with this novel because it resembled Sara Paretsky's V.I. series in that our protagonist is steeped in the political, cultural, and historical context of Detroit and the intersections of those forces. While I applaud the attempt to be more than just another action oriented mystery, the misogynistic language and circumstances aimed at some of the female characters had me questioning whether I should keep reading. I did, unfortunately, because the end of the novel devolves in ...more
Fred Klein
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a well-written tour of Detroit dressed up as a murder mystery. The murder mystery was not my favorite part of the book, ending up being a pretty standard plot with an unrealistic amount of carnage for the main character and his friends to survive. But the author is obviously familiar with the city he is writing about, and it is a pleasure to read his descriptions and views of it, both good and bad.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
The idea of a cop in Detroit dealing with the corruption there is good, but this veers off into a bizarre international financial conspiracy thriller and the characters are all a bit two-dimensional. It seemed like maybe it was trying for comedy, but if so that didn't work. ...more
Jul 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
Like over-engineered exposition? Detailed food menus imbedded in prose? Trite archetypal characters who eat a lot of (fully detailed) food? Then August Snow is for you!

I am at a loss for how this book was ever published. It is in dire need of an editor. I'd argue that 60% (maybe more!) of the book was unnecessary exposition. August snow ate a burrito. He ate an enchillada. The waitress who served him his spicy enchilada was wearing glasses. The glasses were red. She got them at the nearby glass
Jun 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Detroit noir thriller introducing August Snow, ex-Detroit PD detective. He feels guilty when Eleanor Paget, the head of a private wealth-management and investment bank, is found murdered the day after she asked Snow for help. August and his friends take on the over-the-top villains determined to safe-guard their extortion, racketeering, and money laundering schemes that use the bank. They also receive help from the FBI who were already investigating the bank.

The charm of the story is Snow’s mult
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Watch me discuss this book in my January wrap up
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
August Snow is to Detroit what Spenser is to Boston, only more so in terms of what you learn about his city. Both are ex-cops with serious time in the service who hang on to cases like bulldogs, even if Snow is unlicensed. Both are resented by the cops, except for a couple of them, and that grudgingly. Both have friends with dangerous skills. Snow's back story turns on how he left the police force, and what easily might have been formulaic or contrived in a book created by a lesser talent comman ...more
Monica **can't read fast enough**
Jones writing is unique and subtle when it comes to both character and plot development which just makes me that much more interested in continuing this series. By halfway through August Snow I had already ordered a copy of the next book in the series. I am thrilled to keep picking up books written by Black men, featuring Black male characters that feel authentic, engaging, and I admit addictive. If you enjoy Walter Mosely and S.A. Cosby I recommend picking up August Snow, I'm sorry that it took ...more
Abdulkarriem Khan
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
August Snow is this Generations Easy Rollin's. Stephen Mack Jones is a pitch perfect Bard to communicate for & to the Modern Everyman who is a Veteran of War, Gentrification, Globalization & Abuse. This Critique of the Corrosive & Corruptive Influence of the Love of Money! ...more
Monica Bacon
Jul 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
If only I could give a negative rating.

This book was awful. The author has a predictable plot, with sterotypical characters (who are foul), who are citing one cliche after another. The main character's thoughts of others are degrading. I thought I was reading a book from the 70's...I just checked again, and it was published earlier this year!?! I just cannot believe that he has just over a 4 star rating....really? What am I missing? How many different ways one can say penis? Or how to degrade w
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Linda by: The Blade
A lot of carnage, gritty, rough murder mystery that takes place in Detroit and Traverse City - my neck of the woods. I love reading and knowing exactly where the action is taking place.

I think I liked it better the second time, possibly because I could keep track of who all the characters were/are.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booktopia-2019
I fell in love with August Snow. His grit and humor sucked me right in. A great mystery with a lot of twists and turns.Now on to the next adventure with August Snow!
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recipe for a successful new book/author:

A. Protagonist & secondary characters
1 c. Elvis Cole
1 c. Jack Reacher
1/4 c. Joe Pike
1 tbs Attractive but immune to flirty protagonist FBI (or suitable substitute federal agency) agent
2 tbs Tough, likable allies for back-up
a dash of computer genius-geek type who can help but also serve as good hostage if needed

B. Evil-doers:
1 c. Ex-military, well trained and super tough guy with grudge against protagonist
1/2 c. Cops who find protagonist reprehens
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Kudos to the author. This isn't the typical genre I read so my opinion is only as a work of fiction. The author has a definite voice and style. Each character had a distinct voice (it's shocking how many authors and screenwriters don't pull this one off). The story was well told and tightly woven. I liked the times he didn't give some things away to the reader but let you know there was something. He didn't overdo it though. There were just the right amount of twists and turns and revelations. A ...more
I saw this book in webinar for books being published in 2017, and wrote to the publisher for an advance copy, mostly because it took place in Detroit. I'm so happy I did--this is an excellent mystery in the tradition of Robert B. Parker. I really like August Snow, and I'm looking forward to his next adventure!

Highly recommended!
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely LOVED this book.
Linda Robinson
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ta da. Picked this book up yesterday, started it last night and found my bookmark on the floor this morning, unused. All right then. August Octavio Snow, recently returned to his childhood home from a self-destruct world tour, is summoned to the Grosse Pointe mansion of Eleanore Paget. (Got a kick out of the "e" tailing her name; even Lake St. Claire gets an etail once. When we were kids, we snarked Grosseee Pointeee. Made me laugh.) Ex-cop, former Marine, erstwhile lover. All those used-to-be[s ...more
Kasa Cotugno
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kasa by: Snap_out_of_it
I needed a sorbet, and based on the word of someone whose opinion I trust, chose this. Thank you, you know who you are...

Set in today's Detroit, a city in the process of revitalizing itself, trying to change its reputation as a total loss as a bankrupt city into working at turning itself around, this involving drama features as its protagonist, August Octavio Snow, product of a loving union between his African American father and Mexican mother. As the story opens, he has returned home after a y
Jamie Canaves
An ex-marine, ex-cop–who won a gigantic wrongfully-dismissed lawsuit against the police department–returns to his childhood home in Mexicantown, Detroit and quickly finds himself wrapped up in a mystery. Snow may have turned down Eleanore Paget’s request to hire him to investigate her investment bank but when she dies he finds himself on the case, and in constant danger. Jones does a fantastic job of bringing Detroit to life like a character, including the racial harmony, tension, and racism. Wh ...more
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
August Snow is a former Marine, former Detroit policeman, with a Black father and a Mexican mother.

Fired from the police job he loved, Snow won $12 million in a wrongful dismissal suit that forces many politicians and corrupt policemen to leave their former jobs, as well.

After a year's vacation, he is back in his family's house, trying to make a new home for himself and trying to reclaim his old neighborhood.

But an elderly woman asks him to investigate her family-owned bank, suspecting something
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Saw this one on an NPR list and it luckily was at the library by my office. I was excited by the idea of a mystery/thriller/detective story (not quite sure how to label it) with Detroit as its setting and really a character in itself. Jones does a great job drawing his characters and the city, especially the mixed feelings or occasional sense of conflict the narrator has for his hometown neighborhood. August Snow is maybe unrealistically skilled and lucky when it comes to firefights, but that's ...more
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
Going to have to check this one out -- taking place in Detroit and in Mexicantown? Could be fun. :-)
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love a good crime novel and this was one. Nothing like a complicated good guy sticking up for people. On to the next August Snow adventure.
Mar 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: booktopia-2019
This was a fun romp. The characters were a tad stereotyped but I look forward to reading Jones' next one in preparation for Booktopia 2019. ...more
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Flint Public Libr...: February 2019 Fiction Only Book Club: August Snow 1 5 Feb 20, 2019 12:35PM  

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Stephen Mack Jones is a published poet, award-winning playwright, and recipient of the prestigious Kresge Arts in Detroit Literary Fellowship. He survived a number of years in advertising and marketing communications. Mr. Jones was born in Lansing, Michigan, and currently lives in Farmington Hills, outside of Detroit. August Snow is his first novel.

Other books in the series

August Snow (3 books)
  • Lives Laid Away (August Snow #2)
  • Dead of Winter (August Snow #3)

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“Of course, being from Detroit, I’ve never quite trusted happiness
So I returned to a city where happiness is usually a matter of finding contentment in an acceptable level of intangible fear, unfocussed loathing and unexplainable ennui.”
“To the right off of west bound Jefferson Avenue there were still neighborhoods that served as the gateway to hell. Where black children cowered in the corners of abandoned houses reading stolen books from school libraries by the last light of day. Places where the devil was fed his daily dinner by a state that hated its largest city and a country that unctuously pitied those who lived there.” 0 likes
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