From Center for Fiction First Novel Prize winning author De'Shawn Charles Winslow, a sweeping and unforgettable novel of a Black community reeling from a triple homicide, and the secrets the killings reveal.
In the still-segregated town of West Mills, North Carolina, in 1976, Marian, Marva, and Lazarus Harmon-three enigmatic siblings-are found shot to death in their home. The people of West Mills- on both sides of the canal that serves as the town's color line-are in a frenzy of finger-pointing, gossip, and wonder. The crime is the first reported murder in the area in decades, but the white authorities don't seem to have any interest in solving the case.
Fortunately, one person is determined to do more than talk. Miss Josephine Wright has just moved back to West Mills from New York City to retire and marry a childhood sweetheart, Olympus “Lymp” Seymore. When she discovers that the murder victims are Lymp's half-siblings, and that Lymp is one of West Mills's leading suspects, she sets out to prove his innocence. But as Jo investigates those who might know the most about the Harmons' deaths, she starts to discover more secrets than she'd ever imagined, and a host of cover-ups-ranging from medical misuse to illicit affairs-that could upend the reputations of many.
For readers of American Spy and Bluebird, Bluebird, Decent People is a powerful new novel about shame, race, money, and the reckoning required to heal a fractured community.