This is the second book in a series and I am sad to say I have not read the first one yet. It seems to be a stand alone novel in some regards but does allude to a character from the first one sometimes. That does not seem to hinder the story at all.
We open this story with the main character, Early Pines. He is a detective in the little southwestern town of Paradise. He has just been suspended from duty following an altercation with a citizen of that town. He is still angry about the death of a friend (from the first novel) and fighting the urges to “self medicate” to cope. He has a friend who talks him into a road trip to Old Mexico to distract him from his current woes. This road trip is barely underway when they are stranded in a little town to have his truck repaired. He encounters a local bar owner, Calico, who shares that her brother, who had moved to Los Angeles, CA, now seems to be missing. This piques his interest and he commits to help her find out what has happened to him. This begins a road trip to California and an adventure he never dreamed was ahead for him and his new road trip buddy, Calico.
I have been privy to several different authors and stories over the years because of my marriage to my husband. He is an avid Louis L’Amour fan. He is also a reader of Tony Hillerman (Jim Chee character) and Robert B. Parker stories (Jesse Stone character). He has exposed me to these stories over the years and I have loved them almost as much as he has. We have watched the movies made from these novels together, as well. This story has elements that remind me very much of the stories from these authors. It is a modern day Southwestern US mystery/adventure story. The writing style is very engaging and drew me in from the first chapter. It was hard to put this novel down and I really enjoyed it from start to finish.
This is my first encounter with Buck Storm’s work. I can say with certainty that it will not be my last. This is a different book than I typically review here. It is from a Christian publishing company but it is not the standard romantic fare that most of those publishers produce. I think this is a great change of pace if you are looking for something a little more intriguing and edgy without all the edgy language and explicit descriptions. It may also have a bit of romance along the way but that is not the ultimate purpose of the story. If you are a Christian fiction reader (and even if you are not) who is looking for something a little different, I highly recommend this series and other books written by Buck Storm to you.
This book was sent to me free of charge from Kregel Publishing. I was asked to read it and give an honest review for you. My most honest opinion on this one is that I wish I had found this author sooner. It was fantastic! I will be going back to read the first book in this series.