Set in a mid-western town of the 1970s, Karen Anderson’s hidden urge to try the exotic is triggered when she offers an African student a lift in her car.
Later she ventures into an inner-city bar and picks up a young black man. They flirt in her car and they end the night in her home. This starts the married housewife’s quest in seeking encounters with black men.
When her third marriage with a black co-worker makes her aware of the prevailing racial prejudices of that era, Karen joins the local chapter of a national civil rights movement. During a reception, she meets Justin Green, the organisation’s president. She invites Justin for a cup of coffee in her home and they spend some hours together. When Karen drives him back to the hotel, Justin gets shot while getting out of her car. The shooting hits newspaper headlines since a black civil rights activist was in the company of a white woman.
After being grilled by the police, Karen goes into hiding only to fall in the clutches of a black limp.
Read this interracial thriller to find out what happens next.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I read a newspaper report of a shooting of a civil rights activist in a town in Indiana and this event inspired me to write a fictional account of the event.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The book is about the main character, Karen Anderson. It is about the transformation of a midwestern, suburban housewife into one seeking thrills in a mileu far removed from her usual surroundings. A single random event triggers this transformation and my challenge was to create a plausible 'character arc' (a writer's expression) to show this change.
Karen always thought that she had her life under control and never imagined that a minor decision could lead to a sequence of events that would turn it upside down.
Although the fuel needle on her Mercedes-Benz 350 SEL sedan was close to zero, she drove past the Texaco station where she normally stopped. The aged attendant was slow and the acne-faced cashier at the counter had charged her the wrong amount. She decided to try another gas station. Before she realized it, she found herself in the Southside district of the town, which was noted for its high crime rate. Neighbours had warned her that it was unsafe for single white women to be driving in this area. She was driving along a commercial strip mall and looked for an opening to make a U-turn.
Stopping at a red light, she noticed a young black man coming out of a door under a sign that read: ‘Adult Emporium’. As she watched the youth cross the road, she noticed that he had a brown paper bag in his hand. It looked as if he had purchased a magazine or a video cassette. Never having been inside a sex shop, she wondered what it looked like inside.
Driving on for a few minutes after the red light, she found a BP outlet and stopped there. While filling gas, her thoughts went back to the black youth. She was curious if he had purchased a girlie magazine featuring white models. Was it true that black men fantasized about white women? Imagining him masturbating over graphic photos of fair-skinned nudes, the images in her mind got her excited.
Driving on the way back, the sky was overcast and there was the sound of thunder. It started drizzling. Stopping at a red light, she noticed the young black man waiting at a bus stop. She assumed that either he could not afford a car or could not drive because of a suspended licence. She felt sorry for him and grateful that she never had to wait for buses.
Karen decided to do her good deed for the day. She slowed down and stopped where the youth was standing.
“Do you want a lift?” She leaned across, lowering the passenger side window.
She noticed that he looked young, maybe twenty at the most. At first, he appeared a bit confused but when he smiled at her, his teeth were almost too white against his dark chocolate face.
“Thanks, lady,” he said. “I just need to be dropped two miles down at Jefferson Boulevard.”
“Get in before you get too wet,” Karen said. The youth opened the door and got in.
Little did Karen realize that her act of kindness would set her on a path leading to a series of sexual liaisons with black men that would end in a scandal hitting newspaper headlines.
Nick Shaw has been a passionate reader and writer ever since his youth. He has travelled in many countries and his books have a common theme: interracial relationships in the context of prevailing attitudes and prejudices.
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