Clark, Stephen J.

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CLARK, Stephen J.







Southern Latitudes, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2002.

Dark Delivery, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2003.


Stephen J. Clark first introduced the character of Nelson Ingram in the novel Southern Latitudes, and continued Ingram's adventures in his second novel, Dark Delivery. Ingram is a man who has fled his home in the small town of Litchfield, Alabama, only to return after his dreams of success fail to materialize. Ingram takes a position as reporter for Litchfield's newspaper. His first big story is a horrific one; an African-American man is found hanging from a tree. At first the Ku Klux Klan is suspected, but other murders follow, including that of a nightclub owner with connections to organized crime. Reviewing the book, Harriet Klausner noted in that the protagonist is "a hedonistic wastrel who finally finds the cause worth fighting for, making him a lot like most people."

The sequel, Dark Delivery, finds Nelson with a safe deposit box filled with cash from the mob's money-laundering operation, a ledger, and computer disks. Nelson's friend, Seymour Hartley, a pathologist suffering from cancer, finds one of his employees dead, and he immediately connects the death to his participation in Nelson's activities. He confronts Nelson with his anger, and Nelson takes him to his cabin. He is filled with guilt and believes Seymour will be safe there, but the criminals know about the hideaway. The cabin is destroyed by fire, and in the aftermath, Nelson is unable to find Seymour. Klausner felt that "readers who like action … in their thrillers will definitely want to read Dark Delivery, a novel that doesn't allow the reader to catch their breath."

Reviewing Dark Delivery for Mystery Reader, Andy Plonka called the depiction of Nelson's friendship with Vietnam veteran Clint McConnyhead a key element in the success of this book. Clint's experience fighting the Viet Cong proves crucial to the plot and to Ingram's survival. Plonka wrote: "Ingram's analysis of Clint's personality is revealing as well.… It is the excitement and fear of combat that brings him alive. These insights and others make the book memorable."


ONLINE, (June 12, 2006), Harriet Klausner, reviews of Dark Delivery and Southern Latitudes.

Mystery Reader, (June 12, 2006), Andy Plonka, review of Dark Delivery.

Reviewing the, (June 30, 2006), Mary A. Axford, review of Dark Delivery. *

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Clark, Stephen J.

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