LaVerne Williams is a reformed felon, ex-ballplayer, and owner of Kansas Citys best barbecue joint. Ferguson Glen is an Episcopal priest and faded literary star, lover of God, women and liquor (but not necessarily in that order). Their lives intersect at LaVernes diner Smoke Meat, as the regulars call it. There they are joined by a cast of remarkable characters, including LaVernes devoted right-hand man, A.B. Clayton; blues legend Mother Mary Weaver; and Sammy Merzeti, a young man with a bloody past and a bloodier future. Thin Blue Smoke is an epic redemption tale, the story of two men coming to terms with their pasts. It is also a novel about faith, race, storytelling, bourbon, the language of rabbits, and the finer points of barbecue technique. Heartrending and bitterly funny, it marks the arrival of a vital new voice in American fiction.