ABOUT NORTH BEACH
The Texas Gulf Coast is an idyllic place for a boy to grow up, especially in 1962 when most of the country is enjoying prosperous, upbeat times. The Twist is all the rage, America’s sweet ride is a Corvette Stingray, and the USA is kicking Russia’s ass in the Space Race. Charlie Sweetwater is like most 15-year olds—happily oblivious to the world’s problems. His main concerns that summer revolve around qualifying for an upcoming Golden Gloves boxing tournament, ducking a local bully named Karl McDevitt, and, with any luck, stealing a kiss from Carmen Delfín, a pretty ballet dancer two years his senior.
The gritty world of amateur boxing in Corpus Christi is an escape for Charlie and his older brother, Johnny, from their familiar boyhood haunts of Rockport and Ransom Island. But it is a peek through the doorway into impending adulthood, and life beyond Top 40 radio and surfing the days away at Bob Hall Pier.
All at once, the outside world comes crashing through Charlie’s last innocent summer when his boxing coach is murdered, and his friend, a black Cuban boxer named Jesse Martel, is falsely accused of the crime. Charlie and Johnny believe Jesse is innocent, but a crooked cop wants to make sure it’s an open-and-shut case, no matter what the cost.
Jesse’s problems are compounded when he becomes a political pawn in a high-stakes contest between Cuba and the CIA—a contest that intensifies when the Cuban Missile Crises begins and the world’s two superpowers come within an eye blink of mutual destruction.
Through it all, Charlie is determined to find the real murderer—a remorseless killer who is stalking more victims--and clear Jesse’s name before time runs out. Suddenly the Sweetwater boys find themselves navigating through a world that is suddenly much bigger, more complicated and far scarier than they ever imagined.
“Miles Arceneaux offers another gripping tale….If you haven’t read any of the Arceneaux books, this is a good one to start with.”
— Glenn Dromgoole, Texas Reads, January 23, 2016
“If you feel tugged buy the desire to breathe the coastal breezes of 1960s Corpus Christi, and learn how Charlie Sweetwater becomes a young man, you’ll find North Beach a satisfying trip in time.”
— Ed Conroy, San Antonio Express-News, January 2, 2016
“Arceneaux’s story is a smashing blend of a coming-of-age tale and a suspenseful thriller.”
— Kirkus Reviews, December 2016
“Arceneaux again proves masterful at evoking atmosphere and recreating a particular time and place. We are immersed in that year (1962): the Space Race, Cuban Embargo, fallout shelters, the Beach Boys, paranoia, and virulent racism. North Beach proves the truism that the more things change, the more they stay the same.”
— Michelle Newby, Lone Star Literary Life, October 2015