Neely Tucker is the author of two Sully Carter novels Murder D.C. and The Ways of the Dead, and the memoir Love in the Driest Season, which was named one of the Best 25 Books of the Year by Publishers Weekly. Tucker is currently a staff writer at the Washington Post Sunday magazine. In The Ways of the Dead (Penguin Books), Sarah Reese, the teenage daughter of a powerful Washington, D.C. judge, is dead, her body discovered in a slum in the shadow of the Capitol. Though the police promptly arrest three local black kids, newspaper reporter Sully Carter suspects there’s more to the case. With the city clamoring for a conviction, Sully pursues the truth about the murders—all against pressure from government officials, police brass, suspicious locals, and even his own bosses at the paper. Inspired by the real-life 1990s Princeton Place murders and set in the last glory days of the American newspaper, The Ways of the Dead is a wickedly entertaining story of race, crime, the law, and the power of the media.
In his latest Sully Cater novel, Murder, D.C. (Viking), Billy Ellison, the son of Washington, D.C.’s most influential African-American family, is found dead in the Potomac River near a violent drug haven, and reporter Sully Carter knows it’s time to start asking some serious questions—no matter what the consequences. With the police unable to find a lead and pressure mounting for Sully to abandon the investigation, he has a hunch that there is more to the case than a drug deal gone bad or a tale of family misfortune. Riding the city’s backstreets on his Ducati 916, Sully finds that the real story stretches far beyond Billy and into D.C.’s most prominent social circles.