Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Book Review: 'Money Land' by R.S. Guthrie

Wyoming author R.S. (Rob) Guthrie has written and published nine mystery thrillers, creating a new icon in Sheriff James Pruett. This is his second book in a series that has captured awards and the attention of those who gravitate toward contemporary thriller heroes. Rob knows the stage o which he places his significant new hero – he lived in the town where the action is placed. He and his family live in Colorado.

Rob writes with grit and with a keen ability to draw his characters not with outlines from a pen (or computer keyboard!), but fully painted three-dimensional substance. That is one of the reasons his stories work so well.

For example, taste the tension Rob creates in the opening paragraphs – ‘Mark Coulee sat in the cramped, sweltering office in the near-deserted airport outside Tempe, Arizona, lines of sweat mixing with fear mixing with a sad feeling of complete bewilderment. A scorpion scuttled across the open, filthy floor, making a break for some kind of freedom until Mark stomped on it with his boot. The pattern of insides and scorpion blood formed a design that looked like the Star of David and Mark thought for a moment about his father. His dad had been a sometimes-practicing Jew who was what most people call a hardworking man, which meant he spent the bulk of his life working for a company that could not have cared less about who he was, what his dreams might be, how beautiful and loving his wife was, or what was really going on inside his head. He lined the pockets of the corporate executive pigs and all the stockholders and then was laid off unceremoniously without pension, severance, or self-respect. Mark’s dad committed suicide. He shot himself through the temple with a .22 pistol he’d never fired before the day he left the world and he did it in a place and time when Mark, then seventeen, would find him lying in a surprisingly trifling pool of blood, the lesser caliber slug having caromed around inside his head like a tiny pinball.'

But on to the synopsis – ‘Big crime has come literally crashing down on the small town of Wind River, Wyoming. When a small plane bound for the Canadian border carrying money for the Sustantivo Cartel smashes into the glacial Wind River Mountains, the event brings a heartless evil presence to one of the more remote places on earth. The tail of the plane is discovered, empty. No drugs. No money. Shortly afterward, people start dying. When the cartel comes to town, Sheriff James Pruett, at odds against the Sustantivo drug cartel, his own friends and citizens, and federal agencies that have agendas beyond those printed on their Mission Statements, will do anything within his power to save his town, his people, the land, and his family. Anything.’

Riveting writing from a man who knows this territory quite well, an author who knows that facing his reader with characters riddled with twists and surprises keeps a mystery soaring. Grady Harp, April 17
This book is free on Kindle Unlimited.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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