Things in tiny Vernon, Oklahoma, have been quiet as a hog in moccasins since Okie Dunn solved the murder of Sheriff Dub Ready (Coyote Revenge, 1999) and took over as sheriff himself. It’s still 1938, and Okie’s still half courting Dub’s charming relict while wondering if he’s going to go back to college and finish up the year standing between him and a law degree. No hurry, of course: Okie’s only 29, and he likes to consider things long and hard before taking action. All of a sudden, though, mysterious developments have transformed little Vernon into a place where snap decisions are the order of the day. Take that dead body in Uncle Leroy’s field. The only way it could have gotten there is if it was pushed from the Piper Cub now on its way to Mexico—flown by the two-timing no-account who’s kidnapped pretty Janeaster Parnell. Lickety-split, Okie, without benefit of a pilot’s license, is flying a borrowed plane in hot pursuit. Accompanying him is a tall, curvy, redheaded lady lawyer who may or may not be as honest as she keeps telling Okie she is. No time for considering that much either. In Mexico, there’s a showdown and a shootout, and it’s only when the smoke clears that Okie has a chance to get back to considering—though a few of his mysteries persist in lingering.
Former US Senator Harris’s second venture into fiction isn’t quite the lean, taut spellbinder his debut was, but there are rewards. Okie, for instance, has star quality.