The second book, in what is hoped will be a long series, involves Snow in a case as volatile as today's headlines. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau (ICE) is on the prowl in Mexicantown and when the body of an unidentified Hispanic woman is pulled from the Detroit River the police look to quickly close the case. The Wayne County Coroner sends a photo of the dead woman to Snow in hopes he can circulate the picture and ID the deceased.
When Snow starts nosing around trying to identify the body he discovers there may be a rogue element within the Detroit ICE office that is grabbing undocumented females and turning them over to a criminal element who sends them into the underground world of sex trafficking. The plot moves at the speed of light, the characters are authentic, the body count is high, and readers will be hooked right up to the bittersweet conclusion.
Lastly, among the many pleasures of this deeply satisfying novel is the author's intimate knowledge of Detroit and its suburbs that are described with razor-sharp prose that cuts to the essence of today's Detroit and the plight of its under-served and preyed upon inhabitants. The book is a triumph and much more than just a very readable, guns-blazing thriller.
Lives Laid Away by Stephen Mack Jones. Soho Press, 2019, $26.95
The book's first seventeen pages recount his birth and childhood in Pennsylvania coal country and his early career as an assistant coach. The book's last five pages briefly covers his life after coaching but are pretty much limited to writing his autobiography, his regrets that he didn't retire sooner, and his dislike for how the Big Ten administers football. His wife is mentioned two or three times and there is a passing note about adopting a child and that is the sum total of information on his marriage and life away from football.
Within the story of Duffy's nineteen seasons as MSU's head coach, there is much said about the clashing of the two huge egos within MSU's sports family-- Duffy Daugherty's and that of the Athletic Director Biggie Munn. Both liked the limelight and there was probably no better speaker and storyteller in football than Duffy Daugherty. He was a literal quote machine and could almost rival Yogi Berra for odd and memorable one-liners like, "I could have been a Rhodes Scholar, except for my grades."
Much has been made of Duffy's tapping into the wealth of Black football talent in the 1960s in the South and bringing many of those players to MSU because they weren't allowed to break the color barrier at Southern universities. I wanted to know more about how Buffy decided to go after these Black players and how he recruited them. Late in the book, Duffy is quoted as saying he hated recruiting but no details are given as to why. Other than noting and quoting from his many public speaking engagements, there is hardly a word in the book about what the man did in the offseason, how he conducted spring training or arrived at his innovative offensive sets and plays. The players loved him but little or nothing is said about his relationship with those players after they graduated.
If you're looking for a complete and thorough biography of the man, look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you want to be regaled by Duffy's great sense of humor on the banquet circuit or in press interviews that are interwoven within a game-by-game and often a play-by-play history of his nineteen seasons as the Spartans head coach the book will not disappoint.
Duffy Daugherty: A Man Ahead of His Time by David Claerbaut. Michigan State University Press, 2018, $29.95 pb.
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