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THE TAKING OF LIBBIE, SD by David Housewright


by David Housewright

Pub Date: June 8th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-312-55996-0
Publisher: Minotaur

In his seventh outing (Jelly’s Gold, 2009, etc.) Rushmore McKenzie is mistaken for…well…Rushmore McKenzie and kidnapped.

In the dead of night, two intruders break into his Minnesota home, overpower him, Taser him, shove him into the trunk of their car—and the next thing millionaire ex-cop McKenzie knows, he’s in Libbie, S.D., pop. 1,200, where there’s every possibility he could be lynched. It doesn’t take long to sort out the scenario that’s brought him to so pretty a pass. Handcuffed, still in his nightclothes, he sits in Police Chief Gustafson’s hardscrabble jail because, it seems, there’s one Rushmore McKenzie too many. The ersatz McKenzie has perpetrated an elaborate scam involving the construction of an ambitious but imaginary mall. As a consequence, much of Libbie has been fleeced, and much of Libbie is angry enough for the sort of mass hysteria and rampant self-delusion that would account for McKenzie’s far-from-funny comedy of errors. Equally inclined to vengeance, McKenzie sets out to find the double-dealing rogue who has so iniquitously doubled for him. But the smooth-talking imposter has vanished, leaving behind a stack of depleted wallets, an array of broken female hearts and a series of homicides, in which, one way or another, he qualifies as a person of interest.

Heavy-handed plotting and nothing-special characters undercut what begins so well.