Prudence Couldn’t Swim: A Publishers Weekly Review

Prudence Couldn’t Swim

Publisher’s Weekly
November 2012

At the start of Kilgore’s funky, funny first mystery, white ex-con Calvin Winter discovers the body of his black wife, Prudence, floating in the swimming pool of their Oakland, Calif., home. Winter didn’t know much about Prudence (their marriage was one of convenience), but he knew she couldn’t swim. Taking his wife’s murder as a personal affront, Winter seeks rough justice in an unforgiving world, aided by a friend, Red Eye Cornell, and copious amounts of Wild Turkey. A nasty Oakland cop keeps the pressure on Winter, who works various con games to get more info out of those familiar with Prudence’s past. The sad saga of Prudence’s transformation from bright Zimbabwean schoolgirl to American trophy wife unfolds in fragments. Kilgore, who was involved with the Symbionese Liberation Army in the 1970s, lived for 27 years in South Africa as a fugitive. In 2002, he was arrested in Cape Town, and later served six-and-half years in California prisons, where he wrote this and two other novels, We Are All Zimbabweans Now and Freedom Never Rests.

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