The Paperboy

by Pete Dexter Fiction

  • US Random House (1995, 336 pages)
  • UK Viking

The sun was rising over Moat County, Florida, when Sheriff Thurmond Call was found on the highway, gutted like an alligator. A local redneck was tried, sentenced, and set to fry.

Then Ward James, hotshot investigative reporter for the Miami Times, returns to his rural hometown with a death row femme fatale who promises him the story of the decade. She's armed with explosive evidence, aiming to free, and meet, her convicted "fiancé."

With Ward's disillusioned younger brother Jack as their driver, they barrel down Florida's back roads and seamy places in search of The Story, racing flat out into a shocking head-on collision between character and fate as truth takes a back seat to headline news...
The Paperboy UK Cover
Dexter's writing is rock-solid, he offers acute observations about the nature of reporting and his grip on the Southern male psyche is unquestionable

Publishers Weekly

Dexter is a taut storyteller who keeps the pages turning

Library Journal

Dexter has created vibrant characters who fit snugly in their hot, languid setting


An eerie and beautiful novel. Its secrets continue to reveal themselves long after the book has been finished

Brent Staples New York Times