The University of Wisconsin Press


Midnight Catch
A Novel
Norman Gilliland

A Depression-era story of rum-running, politics, and murder in Florida's north country.

In the autumn of 1929, while hunting in a lonely stretch of north Florida woods, young Rex Holliman stumbles across the aftermath of a strange double murder. A few days later, his family rents a room to Jim Rhodes, a folksinger and labor agitator working his way back to Wisconsin.  Family friend Richard Ward has lost his money in Miami-area real estate ventures and has resorted to smuggling booze in order to pay off a deadly chameleon of a man known only as the Collector.  In a collision of the callow and the callous, the players in Midnight Catch, connected in ways they discover only in the eleventh hour, move toward a startling day of reckoning.

Norman Gilliland grew up in Gainesville, Florida, where he began his career in broadcasting and radio. He is host and producer of programs on Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television. He is author of the historical novel Sand Mansions, which was named Best Adult Fiction of 2006 by the Florida Publishers Association and won first prize in the Florida Writers Association’s Royal Palm Literary Award. He lives in Middleton, Wisconsin.

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September 2012
LC: 2012902326
356 pp.   6 x 9

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Paper $21.95 t
ISBN 978-0-9715093-5-1
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“It’s the era of new possibilities and Socialist promises—a chicken in every pot and a crackling radio in every room. In Midnight Catch, Norman Gilliland pulls The Shirtsleeve Troubadour and a fistful of vivid characters out of central Florida swamps where they’re speculating on land, running illicit booze and shying away from the ill-omened Great Depression. Gilliland’s prose is so polished you can smell the mangrove roots, the sultry azaleas and the searing scorch of gunpowder.”
—Sara Rath, author of The Waters of Star Lake

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Updated May 3, 2013

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