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by Bill Crider

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 1994
ISBN: 0-312-11387-0
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

 Another lazy canter around the track with Blacklin County (Tex.) Sheriff Dan Rhodes, who sees a misdemeanor charge rapidly accelerate to a felony when he opens a portable toilet that three drunks have tipped into Sand Creek to use for target practice and finds the late Elijah Ward sitting inside. Word is that Ward (known as ``Lige''), who'd already made his reputation with the law by repeatedly chaining himself to the exit door of the Wal-Mart that drove his hardware store out of business, had joined with newcomer Nard King to rustle emus, those trendy cousins of our friends the ostriches. A gaff in the dead man's pocket also links him to the cockfights that have obviously been going on right under the sheriff's beak. Then Lige's wife, Rayjean (with whom Lige's neighbor may have been carrying on), turns up dead in the middle of a cockpit. Homicide, emu rustling, cockfighting: Blacklin County's getting to be such a sink of iniquity it's a wonder unflappable Rhodes (Booked for a Hanging, 1992, etc.) doesn't pack it in for the more peaceful climes of Dallas or L.A. While they're waiting for him to come to his senses, his fans will enjoy this tale, another modest, drolly understated series of riffs.