Kansas City, 1935. Emmett Whelan, an idealistic county prosecutor who has left behind his Irish roots and married into the country club set, takes on the city’s corrupt political machine when he investigates the brutal murder of a black musician.
As Emmett probes the case and meets another outsider, a black jazz singer Arlene Gray, he discovers the city’s underbelly of racism and criminality. His personal life deteriorates. The closer he gets to the heart of the corruption, the more he sees that it is deeper and closer than he has ever suspected. And when the truth unfolds – about the killings, the machine, Emmett’s wife – a surprising and devastating climax reverberates at every level of the city.
Reach the Shining River is an urban crime drama about money, race, and class. Tense and full of memorable characters, it has the smell of a big river, the atmosphere of 1930s America, and a soundtrack that is pure jazz and blues.