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August Snow

(August Snow #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,592 ratings  ·  274 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 (first published 2017)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  1,592 ratings  ·  274 reviews

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There is a superhero in all of us, we just need the courage to put on the cape.

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
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
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.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Watch me discuss this book in my January wrap up
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 ...more
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 ...more
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.
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
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!
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
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 ...more
Jamie Canaves
An ex-marine, ex-copwho won a gigantic wrongfully-dismissed lawsuit against the police departmentreturns to his childhood home in Mexicantown, Detroit and quickly finds himself wrapped up in a mystery. Snow may have turned down Eleanore Pagets 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. While ...more
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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!
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommended to Linda by: The Blade
Shelves: chcpl, mystery, fiction
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.
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!
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.
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
Going to have to check this one out -- taking place in Detroit and in Mexicantown? Could be fun. :-)
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely LOVED this book.
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. ...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
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
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A roaring good time if you like philanthropic machismo, action-packed carnage, and wise-cracking attitude. I finished it in a few hours; so I do like!

After a disappointing "Dark Sacred Night" I still had a hankering for a good mystery. I really enjoyed the 2018 Edgar winner "Bluebird, Bluebird". I decided to go with another prize winner. "August Snow" won a Hammett Prize. Thanks, judges! You all sure are more reliable than rando reviewers (I'm looking at you, Goodreads ;-).
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.
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Easy Rawlins meets Phillip Marlowe meets Sam Spade. Yep!

August Snow makes his arrival to that esteemed bunch of P.I.'s straight out of Detroit's Mexicantown neighborhood. Dad was African American, mom Mexican-American and August pure badass. I loved all the Detroit references from Marcus Belgrave to Belle Isle, Hudsons Department store and Aurelio Rodriguez.

This book has the feel of a classic hard-boiled detective mystery in a modern setting. The quips and humor come fast and hard with little
Ronald Koltnow
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
August Snow is not a weather phenomenon; it is the name of a good cop forced out by a corrupt administration. Returning to his native Detroit, Snow sets out to be a one-man urban renewal project, as he starts to reclaim his Mexicantown neighborhood. The city of Detroit is a living breathing character in Stephen Mack Jones's debut novel, one of what I hope will become a series. Called by a wealthy tyrant, who wants Snow to look into shenanigans at her investment bank, he refuses. What follows is ...more
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Please, PLEASE Stephen Mack Jones, write us another August Snow mystery. Or don't but keep writing about Detroit from this (to me) unique perspective. Reading this put me in mind of Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins series, in great part because Jones has made Detroit a character like Mosley makes LA a character in that series. The city is exciting and comforting, maddening and heart-breaking, has her secrets that even those who know her best only think they know. (I can't claim to know Detroit well, ...more
Sacramento Public Library
Lets count the things to love in this book. The Detroit setting, a city halfway between destruction and revival is original and evocative. The main character, August Snow, is biracial (African-American and Mexican) a former cop and current millionaire. Mirroring his neighborhood, he is also halfway between destruction and revival. The plot of the book combines a search for justice, multinational money laundering, computer hacking and assassins. And then there are the supporting characters who ...more
Danita L
Outstanding debut. I was looking forward to a Mexican/African American ex-cop in Detroit after reading a few reviews and it did not disappoint. I started reading at about 6:30 in the evening and it is now 4:30 in the morning. And I only needed a book mark while eating, taking my dog outside and a few other necessary functions of life that did not include sleep.

It was a bit implausible in a few places but the pace was thrilling and August Snow is a great protagonist. I already have Lives Laid
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Flint Public Libr...: February 2019 Fiction Only Book Club: August Snow 1 3 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 (2 books)
  • Lives Laid Away (August Snow #2)

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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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