“In a city that demands nuance, R.J. Fox treats Detroit with a surgeon’s precision. Each character’s story is a different side of the Motor City, each one as complex and multi-layered as the Motor City itself.”

— Aaron Foley, Chief Storyteller, City of Detroit and author, How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass

“At first, reading R.J. Fox’s Awaiting Identification, I had intimations of Elmore Leonard meets Donald Goines. But that impression was fleeting and soon I was caught in Fox’s own unique lyrical style and a scenario that keeps you engrossed. Seeping between his lines as well as background to his ensemble of doomed characters is Detroit’s industrial pulse, which Fox expresses with a profound intimacy. Throughout Awaiting Identification there is a cinematic quality that is enhanced by fresh, spiky dialogue and literary cachet.”

— Herb Boyd, author of Black Detroit: A People’s History of Self-Determination

“R.J. Fox is a master of dialogue—a sharpshooter who sends out blasts of words that never miss the mark. Awaiting Identification hits readers with the sights, sounds and smells of Detroit as five lost souls travel its streets in search of human connection. It is loud, bold and insightful—everything you want in a story that stays with you even after you have torn yourself away.”

— Karen Dybis, author, Secret Detroit: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure and The Witch of Delray, a true-crime murder mystery set in Depression-era Detroit

“1990s Detroit was a forgotten city, with a forgotten history, and forgotten people. In Awaiting Identification, R.J. Fox masterfully imagines five of those Detroiters, creating in stark, gut-punch prose, the stories that give them life. Awaiting Identification weaves the desperation and decimation of the city with the funk, resilience, and hard-luck histories of its too-often ignored inhabitants.”

— Lori Tucker-Sullivan, Detroit-based essayist

“R.J. Fox is a writer of great talent and skill. In Awaiting Identification, he carefully guides his readers through the mean streets and back alleys of contemporary Detroit. The reader is brought along on an urban mystery into the ‘heart of darkness.’ A rich and suspenseful narrative that will keep the reader anxiously turning each page. Fox is a wonderful writer who truly knows Detroit and how to tell a damn fine tale.”

— M. L. Liebler, Award-Winning Detroit-Based Poet & Editor

Awaiting Identification opens on Devil’s Night . . . and why not? This book isn’t waiting on anyone. It races forward, driven by attitude and suspense. Here is a world fully formed, a novel that puts you deep inside its characters as they confront Detroit in all its perverse, gritty glory.”

— Scott Lasser, author, Say Nice Things About Detroit

“Cinematic, lyrical, and unflinchingly raw, Awaiting Identification is both a love letter to Detroit and a cautionary tale. If you’re looking for a fresh new voice in fiction, R.J. Fox is the real deal.”

— Camille Pagán, bestselling author of Life and Other Near-Death Experiences

“In Awaiting Identification Fox weaves together five separate, yet interconnected, gritty tales of love, loss, despair, and hope—all set to a throbbing Detroit underground techno beat. As the characters in these stories unknowingly cross paths and move the story forward, you get the sense that there is something more at play here and what lies beneath the underground is not all that it seems. Fox paints a picture with words so vivid, you feel the cold and weary bleakness of the night and the warm glow of the approaching dawn.”

— Sean Deason, Matrix Records, Detroit

“The keen-for-a-brawl bastard child of Last Exit to Brooklyn.”— Ian Thornton, author of The Great & Calamitous Tale of Johan Thoms

“In these pages, Fox deftly intertwines stories of the tumultuous last hours of several desperate Detroiters. Though from the start he makes no secret of their deaths on Devil’s Night, he makes their harrowing journeys through the city streets fascinating and their unwillingness to abandon hope compelling. Fox also makes the Detroit of another era into a lively, struggling character in its own right.”

— John G. Rodwan, Jr., author of Holidays & Other Disasters and co-author of Detroit Is: An Essay in Photographs

“In Awaiting Identification, R.J. Fox has composed a cinematic ode to the gritty streets of Detroit, while seamlessly weaving together the doomed journeys of an entire cast of downtrodden characters. At once, Fox proves he is deeply in tune with the chaos and the glory of the Motor City, and that he is decidedly adept at tying together delightfully loose strands of character until they culminate in a unified package that is both haunting and powerful.”

— Frank Morelli, author of No Sad Songs

“Told from the perspective of five victims awaiting identification at the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office in Detroit, this fast-paced, enervating novel, pays homage to the city, while telling the stories of characters who long to rise from the ashes of their own lives, some with more success than others; all with moments of much-needed hope and redemption.”

— Kelly Fordon, author, Garden for the Blind