Redbone by P-HarpercollinsPubl

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Lance Herndon was at the top of his game in 1996. At age forty-one he was a self-made millionaire, the owner of Access, Inc., a successful information-systems consulting company. As a prominent member of Atlanta's young, wealthy, and powerful set, he was surrounded by black Atlanta's "beautiful people." But when he failed to show up for work one day, friends and family started to worry. Their worry soon turned to horror when he was found murdered in his own home, his head smashed in—in what appeared to be either an act of jealousy-fueled rage or a seedier sex crime. With a laundry list of ex-wives and lovers, competitors, critics, and admirers in hand, detectives had to break through the city's upper crust to discover his killer. Journalist Ron Stodghill tells the riveting, true story of this investigation.Part investigative thriller, part sociological commentary, Redbone offers a truly intriguing story that channels insight into one of America's great metropolises.

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									Redbone
Author: Ron Stodghill
Description

Lance Herndon was at the top of his game in 1996. At age forty-one he was a self-made millionaire, the
owner of Access, Inc., a successful information-systems consulting company. As a prominent member of
Atlanta's young, wealthy, and powerful set, he was surrounded by black Atlanta's "beautiful people." But
when he failed to show up for work one day, friends and family started to worry. Their worry soon turned
to horror when he was found murdered in his own home, his head smashed in—in what appeared to be
either an act of jealousy-fueled rage or a seedier sex crime. With a laundry list of ex-wives and lovers,
competitors, critics, and admirers in hand, detectives had to break through the city's upper crust to
discover his killer. Journalist Ron Stodghill tells the riveting, true story of this investigation.Part
investigative thriller, part sociological commentary, Redbone offers a truly intriguing story that channels
insight into one of America's great metropolises.
Excerpt

On a balmy April evening in 1996, surrounded by the thumping beat of R & B music, Lance Herndon
tapped his tasseled loafer on the marble floor and watched his guests pour in. The sight must have
pleased him. He had invited some four hundred friends and business associates, and by a quarter after
nine more than half had already arrived. He couldn't have dreamed up a more ideal night for a party. The
nightclub, a circular glass-enclosed room at the top of Atlanta's downtown Hilton Hotel, offered a
panoramic view of the city. Outside, the full moon hung so low and luminous that majestic Stone
Mountain, thirty miles east, glowed as though right across Peachtree Street.The occasion tonight was
the celebration of Lance's forty-first birthday. The man looked good. Except for the gray flecks in his curly
dark hair, he could have easily passed for thirty. It didn't matter that he was not a particularly handsome
fellow, that he had a ruddy complexion and a slightly crooked smile. He was the founder and CEO of
Access Inc., the largest black computer consulting firm in the Southeast, and he exuded prosperity. On
this Friday evening, Herndon was dressed casually chic. His trademark white silk pocket square
blossomed like a tulip from his navy blue, single-breasted designer suit, giving him the debonair, about-
town flair he was known for. His cream French-cuffed shirt was unbuttoned low enough to let the chest
hair breathe in place of his usual smart necktie.Within Atlanta's young black jet set, the crowd with which
he liked most to be associated, Lance was known for his extravagance. Indeed, he had come to view
himself as a kind of master emcee, a Gatsby-like presence whose lavish spending served as a barometer
of the times. On his fortieth birthday he had celebrated in South Africa by taking his guests barhopping in
a white stretch Mercedes Benz limousine. Here, on his forty-first, the outer rim of the dance floor was
lined with tables holding mounds of Gulf shrimp and exotic cheeses, ornate pastries and lavish
chocolates, and bottle upon bottle of wine and champagne. The spread, along with the sweet perfume of
the women mingling with the scent of roses and lilies, crystallized notions that the man with "L.H.H."
monogrammed on his cuff was a player around town. It may have helped, too, to distract from the
unsettling truth that Atlanta's gilded age, forged some thirty years prior by the city's black old guard, was
coming to an end.In Atlanta, the black elite was divided into an older generation of insular, tradition-bound
natives and a younger, high-living group of nouveau riche transplants. Both groups were obsessively
image-conscious, though it was in the latter that Lance had stature, and in which he wanted to continue
to amass cachet. Lance had earned his reputation in technology. Access Inc. assisted companies in
developing sophisticated information networks, and he had been so successful that Inc. magazine had
included it among America's Top 500 enterprises. But Lance considered this achievement to be of
secondary value. His real prowess, he often boasted, was in the network of relationships he had nurtured
and built across town with high-up people at Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, and Wachovia Bank, for example,
and within such professional organizations as the prestigious Leadership Atlanta, and a bundle of others,
from the Atlanta Business League to the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Data Processing
Management Association. He had become a central figure in the social scene of the city that was the
capital of the New South.To be sure, nobody understood more clearly than Lance the necessity of
reaching out to the...
Author Bio
Ron Stodghill
Ron Stodghill is a staff writer for the New York Times. He was educated at the University of Missouri and
Harvard University, where he was a Nieman Fellow. His work has appeared in Time, BusinessWeek,
Essence, and several newspapers. A former editor in chief of Savoy magazine, Stodghill divides his time
between New York City and Charlotte, North Carolina, where he lives with his wife and three sons.

								
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