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It's an unseasonably hot April night in 1965. The social revolutions rocking America have mostly bypassed Burr, a tiny rural community in western Oklahoma. Like much of the state, Burr remains as it's always been: Religious. Conservative. And 100% white. When an unknown young African-American woman is found murdered on the railroad tracks outside town, most of Burr would rather look the other way. The town's police chief, troubled local hero and ex-Marine Emmett Hardy, doesn't have that luxury. A lover of books and jazz in the land of football and country & western, Emmett is an outsider in a place he knows like the back of his hand. In his search for the killer, he's forced to slice through layers of hate and hypocrisy to confront the ethical rot at the town's core, while being haunted by the vision of a life and love that might have been.
Chris Kelsey grew up in Oklahoma, the son of a jazz musician and a school librarian. He's played the saxophone since he was knee-high to an armadillo and made a name for himself playing, teaching, and writing about strange and obtuse forms of modern jazz. Chris currently lives in Dutchess County, NY, with his wife Lisa, son Jasper, and daughter Meret. Where the Hurt Is is his first novel.