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Thin Walls

A Smokey Dalton Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Smokey Dalton and Jimmy, the young boy he protects, have settled into a new life on Chicago’s South Side. But when Smokey gets hired to investigate the death of a black man in a local park, he realizes that the murder might not be an isolated case. The Chicago Police Department doesn’t really investigate black deaths, particularly near the South Side. 

The case forces Smokey to dig deeper into the history of the area, a history that includes gangs, racism, and secrets so dark they threaten his very existence.

Chosen as one of the top ten mystery novels of the year by the Chicago Tribune, Thin Walls shows why Publisher’s Weekly gave it a starred review, and Booklist calls it “another fine entry in an outstanding series.”

“Somebody needs to say that Kris Nelscott is engaged in an ongoing fictional study of a thorny era in American political and racial history. If that’s not enough to get ‘serious’ critics and readers to pay attention to her, it’s their loss.”

—Charles Taylor,

Kris Nelscott is an open pen name used by USA Today bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch. 

The first Smokey Dalton novel, A Dangerous Road, won the Herodotus Award for Best Historical Mystery and was short-listed for the Edgar Award for Best Novel; the second, Smoke-Filled Rooms, was a PNBA Book Award finalist; and the third, Thin Walls, was one of the Chicago Tribune’s best mysteries of the year. Kirkus chose Days of Rage as one of the top ten mysteries of the year and it was also nominated for a Shamus award for The Best Private Eye Hardcover Novel of the Year. 

Entertainment Weekly says her equals are Walter Mosley and Raymond Chandler. Booklist calls the Smokey Dalton books “a high-class crime series” and Salon says “Kris Nelscott can lay claim to the strongest series of detective novels now being written by an American author.”

Smokey Dalton’s story will continue at long last in March 2014 with Street Justice, the seventh novel in the series.

For more information about Kris Nelscott, or author Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s other works, please go to

From Publishers Weekly

Aug 12, 2002 – Chicago, December, 1968. Not a good place for a black man trying to hide himself and his 10-year-old son from the police and the FBI while starting a new life. Unlicensed PI Smokey Dalton, the man on the run, has assumed the name Bill Grimshaw in this third outing (after 2001's Smoke-Filled Rooms) from Nelscott (the pseudonym of SF author Kristine Kathryn Rusch). He has a plate full of trouble and not a whole lot else in a novel that recaptures the rage and helplessness that fueled the racial explosions of the late 1960s. Dalton/Grimshaw is clinging to vestiges of his former life, particularly his personal and professional relationship with Laura Hathaway, a rich, beautiful white woman who is trying to wrest control of the business her father left her from the directors he appointed. Dalton is serving as her security consultant while she plans her strategy. He is also trying to guide and protect his son, Jimmy, already under recruitment by the omnipresent gangs and struggling with schoolwork. On top of that, he's hired to investigate the murder of Louis Foster, a black dentist whose death has been seemingly ignored by the Chicago police. Nelscott handles this busy plot with aplomb and convincingly portrays the frustrations of various groups of whites and blacks as inexorable changes create friction. Dalton is a strong, compelling hero facing a tough case and an equally tough fight to protect his son and survive. Regional author tour. FYI:The first book in the series, A Dangerous Road (2000), was an Edgar nominee.
Thin Walls
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  • $5.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: Jun 11, 2012
  • Publisher: WMG Publishing, Inc.
  • Seller: WMG Publishing, Inc.
  • Print Length: 382 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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