SURVIVORS WILL BE SHOT AGAIN by Bill Crider

SURVIVORS WILL BE SHOT AGAIN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A string of low-level burglaries plagues Blacklin County, Texas, spelling trouble for Sheriff Dan Rhodes and his deputies (Between the Living and the Dead, 2015, etc.) and two dead men.

Ex–football star Billy Bacon, now a sedentary loan officer, has been robbed of a saddle and its stand. Melvin Hunt has lost a high-end welding rig. The neighbors have felt free to speculate why rancher Able Terrell has so far been immune from the thefts. The stakes rise, though not by all that much, when Rhodes, fresh from besting an armed convenience store robber by throwing a loaf of bread at him, responds to a call from Billy’s ranch and ends up not only taking his report of the latest theft, but discovering the body of Melvin Hunt in Billy’s barn, shot two times. The death is particularly awkward for Billy, who’s just taken down a No Trespassing sign that warned, “TRESPASSERS WILL BE SHOT. SURVIVORS WILL BE SHOT AGAIN.” He assures the sheriff that he knows nothing about Melvin’s death—well, apart from having found the corpse himself before calling the authorities—or about the marijuana growing in one of his fields or about the alligator penned up nearby, presumably to guard the crop. As it turns out, Billy isn’t the only local whose property has been partly turned over to the cultivation of cannabis, and Melvin isn’t the only local who’s due to be shot twice. Luckily, that alligator turns up in exactly the right time and place to make everything right again.

The ambling plot makes room for a few sharp deductions and the usual mild humor—nothing to frighten the horses or raise fans’ blood pressure.

Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-250-07852-0
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2016




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