Category Archives: Albright, Stuart

Stuart Albright. Bull City. Durham, NC: McKinnon Press, 2012.

It was North Carolina’s most famous novelist, Thomas Wolfe, who said “you can’t go home again.”  But sometimes you have to.  Sid Ellison, a twenty-something, has built a nice life for himself in Asheville, North Carolina.  He has a good job, a loving wife, and a baby on the way.  But when his older brother, Tyrell, is arrested for a murder, Sid must return to his hometown of Durham to try to clear his brother.

Sid is not the only one who has to return to Durham because of the murder.  The victim’s sister, Malika Latif, an award-winning journalist, is now a faculty member at Columbia University in New York City.  Columbia is her alma mater, the place where she refashioned herself after she fled from her stifling family in Durham.  But she is indebted to her older sister Meena who first took her in when she left home, and Meena was the only person who understood about her high school romance with Sid Ellison.  When Malika’s mother asks her to come to Durham to mourn Meena, Malika knows she must go.

Malika and Sid’s high school relationship haunts them both, but those high school years also left Sid with friends who he can call on to help him clear his brother.  In a mix of past history and present day action, Sid and his friend Spencer work out what happened to Meena.  Character development is one of the strengths of this novel, but many readers will also enjoy the rich presentation of Durham–its history, its landmarks, its neighborhoods.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Albright, Stuart, Durham, Mystery, Piedmont