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Colson Whitehead, author of Crook Manifesto

1971. Ray Carney’s days moving stolen goods are over. It’s strictly the straight-and-narrow for him --- until he needs Jackson 5 tickets for his daughter and decides to hit up his old police contact Munson. But Munson has his own favors to ask of Carney. 1973. Pepper is Carney’s endearingly violent partner in crime who takes on a side gig doing security on a Blaxploitation shoot in Harlem. He finds himself in a freaky world of Hollywood stars, up-and-coming comedians, celebrity drug dealers, hustlers, mobsters and hit men. 1976. Carney's wife, Elizabeth, is campaigning for her childhood friend, the former assistant D.A. and rising politician Alexander Oakes. When a fire severely injures one of Carney’s tenants, he enlists Pepper to look into who may be behind it.