C.J. Floyd: Mystery's African-American Hero
But who exactly is C.J. Floyd?
Calvin James Floyd is Robert Greer’s beloved private investigator, the intrepid detective peace keeper who continually takes on the role of sheriff in a modern frontier. Mirroring themes of the Old West, Greer has created a world where contemporary politics and racial issues meet film-noir-era suspense with hero C.J. continually caught in the middle. As an African-American character acting in a setting typically thought as white man’s territory, C.J. serves as an empowering example for all Americans to witness. Here are just some highlights from Greer’s gripping C.J. Floyd series:
C.J’s adventures began in 1996 when Greer published the first of the series, The Devil’s Hatband. Accepting a mysterious missing persons case from a group of “corporate oreos toting fashion-statement briefcases and manicured nails,” C.J. sets off on his first adventure that leads him down a treacherous path of corporate greed and eco-terrorism. Typical of Greer’s writing, the novel switches pace beautifully between the mystique of the Colorado Rockies and Five Points, Denver’s historical African American community.
The series evolves dramatically with every installment of C.J.’s eclectic life. Greer returned in 2005 with Resurrecting Langston Blue, a novel that dramatically changed the pace for the African-American modern cowboy. Promoting him from his longstanding position of local Colorado hero, C.J. enters an adventure with his new partner Flora Jean. The two are led far from the comforts of home to track histories of illegal Vietnam War operations involving the killing of innocent Vietnamese civilians. C.J. acts as the only light of righteousness as the African-American hero tracks corruption all the way to the United States Senate.
Greer’s latest novel, First of State, actually takes the reader back to 1976, presenting a young and entirely distraught C.J. Floyd. Beginning the story with C.J.’s return from Vietnam, the novel presents issues that plagued many veterans drafted for war. Suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, C.J. has returned to U.S. soil a mentally fragile man. He finds solace in a similarly haunted WWII veteran who helps him realize his love of old Western American history and memorabilia — most notably, old license plates — only to have his new friend suddenly ripped from his life by the hands of a mysterious murderer. And so begins the thrill ride of C.J. Floyd’s journey to find the truth and bring justice to those who deserve it.
Sincere, genuine and original, C.J. Floyd is a modern cowboy, hero, and powerful representation of a true American. Read more about the full series of C.J. Floyd mysteries and order ebooks and print copies here.