Saturday, March 21, 2015

Take this one to the dance

All seems quiet in the Texas town of Brenham until construction workers unearth the body of missing town resident, Sissy Fletcher. She's the preacher's daughter who disappeared ten years ago. She hated Brenham and the brief description of her life stirs the curiosity of the reader in wanting to know more.

The Sheriff knows that his own investigatory skills are lacking so he asks retired Texas Ranger, Captain Jeremiah Spur to help.  Even though Jeremiah's daughter is in critical condition in the hospital, he agrees to assist the sheriff.(Think of him as Clint Eastwood.)

The descriptions of Jeremiah and his wife at their daughter's bedside are spot on and we feel empathy for their situation. His reasons for wanting to help in the investigation make sense once we learn the reason why.

Martin Fletcher is the preacher's son. He's an angry redneck and military enthusiast. He hatches a plot against the town and thinks he can do better than McVeigh at Oklahoma City.

The town's best cop is Clyde Thomas, a black deputy and former Dallas policeman. He's also well described and through him, we see the racial feeling toward African Americans that exists in many Texas towns.

Hime writes the story with such intelligence and skill that the reader finds themselves on the edge of their seats waiting for more of the story to unfold.

Among the characters, Jeremiah Spur is well depicted as the strong, silent Texan type and Clyde Thomas working on the investigation in the midst of the racial hatred, made me think of Sidney Poitier in the 1967 movie, In the Heat of the Night with his prideful but professional manner.

The novel was nominated for an Edgar Award for the Best First Mystery for 2003.

2 comments:

Heather said...

Sounds like a good read and it has an appealing cover.

Michael Draper said...

Thanks Heather. It was a good read and kept me turning the pages to find out what was to come.

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