DUMFORD BLOOD by S.K. Epperson


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 Dumford, Kansas, police officer Ben Portlock investigates the mystery of who keeps eviscerating pregnant animals--and why local trash collector Calvin Horn was cut down by a booby-trapped shotgun just after his dog was killed. The suspects include Ben's old flame Lura Taylor, just returned after doing eight years for killing her father; her crazy, suicidal mother Annette; her cousin Michelle, who took Lura's place in Ben's bed while Lura was in stir; Ben's sister Edie, the pregnant, browbeaten wife of Portis P. Jackson, bank president and bondage enthusiast; furiously maidenly police dispatcher Hannah Winegarten and her cancer-stricken, masturbating brother Kurt. Despite some overripe dialogue (``you ripped the heart out of my chest and left me bleeding''), the atmosphere is so tense that the murders (four all told) come as nearly an afterthought. As in Brother Lowdown (1990), Manhattan's mean streets have nothing on this deep-dyed, over-the-top Kansas gothic.

Pub Date: Nov. 18th, 1991
ISBN: 0-312-06342-3
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1991


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