AN UNFORTUNATE PRAIRIE OCCURRENCE by Jamie Harrison

AN UNFORTUNATE PRAIRIE OCCURRENCE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Jules Clement can't help feeling that October is too early to worry about serious snow or comical crime. But the sheriff of Absaroka County, Montana, has his hands full with a serial rapist who's stepping up his attacks from bimonthly to weekly; with Wayne Contway, a convict who's just confessed to a murder he's been serving time for for nine years and now wants to take Jules upcountry to the godforsaken spot where he buried the body; and with the likes of Carl Jump, a photographer who keeps snatching the family dog away from his wife despite the plain language of their custody agreement. So Jules is not in the mood for the discovery of a human foot (followed by even more dire bones) on an island owned by his uncle, Joseph Ganter, or by the Viking death of old Nestor Amundsen, shot and set ablaze along with his dog in the front seat of his Suburban. But it gets worse, as you'd expect from Harrison's meticulously overplotted chronicles of Blue Deer and environs: Nestor's apparent suicide is complicated by the absence of his prosthetic leg; the only person who hints that he may have some inside information about the rapist is killed in the course of another subplot; and you'll need a flowchart to follow the crisscrossing relations between that 50-year-old foot and the present-day carnival of crime, debauchery, and lesser misbehavior in Blue Deer. Not to worry. Harrison (Going Local, 1996, etc.) makes it all deliciously worthwhile in the most resonant and tightly controlled yet of her three bountifully plotted high-country idylls.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-7868-6260-2
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1997




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