A masterful chronicler of the violent, restless and outcast, James Carlos Blake now transports the reader to early twentieth century Florida with stunning and lyrical prose, as he spins a powerful and breathtaking saga of the Ashley clan, and, specifically, of young John Ashley, whose slaying of a drunken adversary forces him into a life of crime. Relentlessly pursued by a betrayed former friend-turned-lawman over the span of two decades, John goes from petty criminal to bank robber and rum runner, gaining a deserved reputation as Florida's most notorious outlaw and mastermind of a raucous gang of "swamp rats" foolish-brave enough to take on the Chicago Mob. Against the background of a wilderness in transition--as thieves and opportunists move in to rape a magnificent land in order to build the glittering dreams of Miami and Palm Beach--is the story of two sworn enemies on opposite sides of the law whose personal vendettas compel them to strike mercilessly at each other's weaknesses. In the end, nothing will be spared--including the singular passion of John Ashley's life: a love as feral and sensual as the Everglades itself.
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November 1998 : USA Hardback
July 2000 : USA Paperback
October 2009 : USA, Canada Kindle edition