The unsolved 1955 murder of Charlie Wall, a true-life Tampa mobster, is the centerpiece of this Technicolor homage to a particular time and place. As the novel opens he's elderly, but still enjoying his rakish reputation in the bars of Ybor City, Tampa's Latin Quarter, telling stories about bolita rackets and rum-running in the good old days.
When Charlie is murdered in his home, everyone wonders who's going to fall next. And two men in particular want to find out who's responsible: reporter L.B. Turner and Detective Ed Dodge, who follows the trail all the way to Batista's corrupt Havana.
Atkins imagines a twisty solution to this real-world mystery using police reports and newspaper accounts. In many ways, the life and death of Charlie Wall is dwarfed by his colorful world and the novel's evocative language. White Shadow recreates a vanished world in lush, tropical detail.