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KIRKUS REVIEWS: MIDNIGHT SLEEPER Series 1

(Plot spoilers deleted) 

"In 1925, whites are lynching African-American men in Mississippi, speak-easies are doing a bang-up business in New York City, and trains with elite Pullman porters bind the cities together in this mystery. Lomax (Stand Your Ground, 2015) begins his tale with the real-life killing of Lindsay Coleman, in Clarksdale, Mississippi...The train setting becomes a wonderful narrative device, featuring scenes reminiscent of those in many a French bedroom farce....Almost everyone has a secret (or a secret agenda)...Also on the train is the ravishing, crafty Shelby Prevette, the daughter of a very rich plantation family. Is she trying to escape...?...Meanwhile, the quietly competent Beau [Pullman porter] holds the story together...Lomax has a knack for memorable phrases; one character, for example, has “a face as long as a sermon,” and another “smiled the way a crab crawls.” The author also has a gift for the sort of wiseacre repartee that one imagines people speaking in the Roaring ’20s. Period details, meanwhile, are spot-on; Lomax has clearly done his homework. But it isn’t all wit and sparkle: the Mississippi chapters sickeningly show how black men were forced to be deferential under threat of death. Lomax keeps the plot (and readers) hopping in this quirky novel."