Friday, April 20, 2012
Barnstorming by Laura Crum
At fifty, Gail McCarthy has decisions to make. She tells her own story in first person, present tense. She was once an equine veterinarian with a passion for work. But, she took ten years off to raise and homeschool her son, Mac. Now that her husband, Blue, has inherited enough money for them to live on, she has a tough decision. What does she want to do with her life? Blue retired happily. Does she want to go back to her job as a vet? Does she want to just enjoy life with her husband, son, and horses? Or is there something else?
For Gail, those decisions can be reached on horseback as she rides the trails near her house. But, those trails have not been so friendly to riders lately. One man sics his dog on them. Someone is blocking the trails. And, some of the residents in the new subdivision near the woods have made it plain they don't like horses or riders in the backyards. And, when one of Gail's acquaintances is shot out in the woods, soon after Gail met her on the trails, the woods and trails seem more dangerous than ever. Did someone target Jane, or is someone targeting women riding their horses on the trails?
Gail turns all her information over to the investigating police officer. As a former vet with numerous friends in the local horse community, Gail uncovers a great deal of information that she passes on. She's afraid. She's angry. She loves those trails and her horses. And, she's resolved to take a stand. "I'm not standing still for this evil. I'm fighting."
For those not interested in horses or the trails through the woods, Barnstorming might feel as if it drags. Others will find an engrossing story of an evil that invades a close-knit community, and a woman determined to fight back, not allowing fear to rule her life.
Laura Crum's Author's Note in this story is fascinating in itself. She informs readers that it's quite possible this will be the last book in the series. She discusses the relationship between Gail and the author, the similarities in their lives, and the differences. The author, like her character, may be moving on to another stage in life after fifty. She allows the readers to observe some of that thinking process in the course of the mystery. And, that process makes Barnstorming a richer, deeper story than it would be if it was just a mystery involving horses.
Laura Crum's website is www.lauracrum.com
Barnstorming by Laura Crum. Perseverance Press. 2012. ISBN 9781564745088 (paperback), 192p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of this book, hoping I would review it.