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It’s 1953 and life is good at The Shady Boat and Leisure Club, the Sweetwater brothers’ ancestral fish camp, dance hall, and beer joint on Ransom island. The little spit of land between Port Aransas and Corpus Christi offers day fishing for anglers, cold beer for the eccentric cast of Shady’s regulars and Saturday night dances for any and all. Rupert Sweetwater and his brothers have carved out an idyllic little kingdom on the Texas Coast, and don’t expect things to change. Why would they?


The biggest event in the island’s history is coming up—an integrated dance featuring Duke Ellington. It’s a daring idea for Fifties-era Texas, and not everyone is happy about it. The local sheriff is fuming, the Ku Klux Klan is rumbling, but all Rupert sees is a chance to host his musical idol.


Meanwhile, 200 miles up the Texas coast, sinful Galveston Island is running wide open. Gambling, women, illicit booze and numbers rackets—the “Free State of Galveston” has them all, thanks to the ruthless Ginestra brothers. But too much ain’t enough, as they say, and the Ginestras are looking to expand.

Back on Ransom Island, a scared young stranger named Sally Rose materializes under the strangest of circumstances and finds an unlikely refuge with the Sweetwaters. The only trouble is, Sally Rose’s last name is Ginestra, and, unwittingly, she draws Ransom Island and the Sweetwaters into the crosshairs of her lethal Galveston family.


Soon, getting blacks and whites dancing peacefully in the same room together is the least of the Sweetwaters’ problems. Galveston’s top mobster—Sally’s father—has Ransom Island in his sights. He wants his daughter back, and the Sweetwaters under his thumb. And God help anyone who gets in his way.


Suddenly life on sleepy little Ransom Island becomes crowded, complicated…and very, very dangerous.


The book club series has partnered with Good Samaritan Community Services and will read Ransom Island by Miles Arceneaux, whom will be on hand for the book club’s gathering to answer any questions. 
    — San Antonio Book Festival, Book Club Series Launch, November 15, 2016 

Ransom Island named among the most memorable books of 2014.” 
    — San Antonio Express-News, Great reads from 2014, December 26, 2014 

“A seamless, atmospheric and sardonic comic thriller.” 
    — The Dallas Morning News, Book review: Four mysteries with Texas ties, December 26, 2014 


“Miles Arceneaux named among the top five Texas authors of 2014.” 
    — Mystery People, Top Five Texas Authors of 2014, December 23, 2014 


Ft. Worth Star Telegram lists Ransom Island as one of its 2014 “notable books by Texas authors.” 
    — Star Telegram, New & Notable: Books by Texas Authors, November 23, 2014


Austin Man Magazine calls Ransom Island a “must-read.” 
    — Austin Man Magazine, Texas Book Festival Must-Reads, October, 2014


“A rollicking tale of crime, love and money.” 
    — Austin American-Statesman, Austin Review of Books, October 19, 2014


“Reminiscent of James Lee Burke . . . wry humor . . . a fast and rollicking ride.” 
    — Texas Book Lover, October 10, 2014


“Imaginative brilliance . . . full of intrigue and murder, love and music, signifying, if not everything, then quite a lot worth worth remembering.” 
    — Ed Conroy, San Antonio Express-News, October 3, 2014


“Like Carl Hiaasen and John D. MacDonald, Miles Arceneaux sets his dark doings by blue water, and has a ball doing it. He makes me want to run away to the islands—Galveston, Mustang or Padre—and sip a tall, cold glass of gin-and-something while I read his latest tale. Ransom Island may be his best one yet.” 
    — Sarah Bird, Best Selling Author of Above the East Sea China, September 2014

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