Richard Ferguson's latest book, Blue's Point, was selected by the editors to be featured in Kirkus Reviews 9/15 Issue. Comments include: "... a meditation on what stirs men and women's souls and a thrill-ride – a rare combination." "No-holds-barred writing and great, complex characters." "I was reminded of Harper Lee's TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD." Ferguson lives in Mexico with his best friends, Churchill the friendly pit bull and Hamish whose canine ancestry is a mystery. He's the complete Renaissance Man. He loves to compete in sports (he ran on a national championship cross-country team at the university level), and his passions include astronomy, wine, mycology, M-theory, travel, and music -- and they all enrich his writing. He's a member of Mexico Mensa. He is currently working on a novel about a crippled boy who wants to be an Olympic marathon champion. He's traveled the world and, at one time or another, written for Billboard, Sports Illustrated, various newspapers, The Stars and Stripes, advertising, gourmet magazines, financial magazines, and sold film scripts. His short fiction is in anthologies. He has also appeared on radio and television programs.
“Respectful and astute handling of serious social conflicts in a satisfying yarn.”
– Kirkus Reviews
In Ferguson’s (The Thin Line Between Life and Death, 2013, etc.) thriller, a just-released convict and a journalist travel to a small Texas town where racial tension breeds contempt and violence.
Steve Cox returns to Blue’s Point 10 years after his conviction for killing a black man. The prison released him into the custody of old Jim Blue, whose family has owned Blue’s Point and neighboring Freedman’s Town for decades. At the same time, black magazine writer Mykeisha “Mike” Ali rides into town, planning to expose Blue’s Point as a cesspool of racism where the Klan and skinheads run rampant, threatening (and sometimes killing) black people. Both Steve and Mike, however, may be a hindrance to a diabolical plot already underway, and there are men willing to resort to murder to keep the two quiet. Ferguson firmly establishes the story’s racial theme. Mike, for instance, is attacked by skinheads simply for stopping to get gas, and it’s abundantly clear that Freedman’s Town is a community for the blacks unwelcome in Blue’s Point. Ferguson fortunately allows the theme to enhance the novel rather than drive it. Steve, for one, is invested in finding out who killed his father, who had been the Klan’s Grand Dragon, and he quickly learns that the murder that sent him to jail may have been a frame job. The villains, like the repugnant Tommy Saunder, reveal different levels of racism, some derived from ignorance, some from pure hatred. Steve is likable almost instantly when he saves a puppy from a discarded sack in a creek (courtesy of Tommy). Mike, too, is a laudable character. She’s nearly relegated into a supporting role in the suspenseful final act and a little too reliant on Steve while both are fleeing the Klan, but she’s admirably defiant even in the face of danger. Ferguson further augments his tale with drama—e.g., unresolved issues with Steve’s high school football pal, police chief Champ Lee—a hint of romance between Steve and Mike, and a surprising amount of mystery: whoever framed Steve for murder may very well be trying to do it again.
Respectful and astute handling of serious social conflicts in a satisfying yarn.
Pub Date: Dec. 11, 2014
Page count: 228pp
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2015
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2015
Hard to narrow down to one -- since I knew him for a short time and admired him, Ken Kesey.
Again hard to narrow down. Since I named Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
Favorite line from a book
Perhaps Randall Patrick McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest when he says, "At least I tried."
Favorite word? That's like favorite color -- they're all good in the right setting.
Unexpected skill or talent
No one in Mexico has yet beaten me at snooker.
Passion in life
I could choose writing since I've always written, but I'll say learning about this fantastic universe we live in.
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