Monday, January 08, 2018
A Reckoning in the Back Country by Terry Shames
It's the police chief who has to handle calls in a small department over the Thanksgiving holidays. One officer is out of town and one is sick, so Craddock responds to the report of a missing man. Dr. Lewis Wilkins hasn't returned home, and his wife didn't expect him to disappear with the adult children arriving for the holiday. It's two young boys who stumble across the body in the woods. To Craddock, it appears that the man was attacked by animals. It's the local vet who said dogs killed him. With reports of missing family pets, and Craddock's discovery of a small pup in the woods, it's natural that accounts of dog fighting swirl around the community. What did Dr. Wilkins get himself into?
Dr. Lewis Wilkins was into more than his wife knew. She knows he lost a malpractice suit and his practice. She doesn't know about his gambling. Craddock uncovers other information about Wilkins' financial dealings. Dog fighting? Gambling? An angry former patient? Wilkins wasn't just one more of the wealthy part-time residents on the lake. Someone wanted him dead.
Shames' latest mystery is realistic, but it has touches of humor. And, Samuel Craddock is as believable as a fictional character can be with his problems with a new woman in his life and his hesitation to take on a puppy. It's those stories, along with the coffee shop and Craddock's neighbors who add humanity to the story of a small town police chief's investigations.
Yes, Shames always deals with issues that are larger than a small town in her books. But, those of us who are fans undoubtedly return for the stories of Samuel Craddock and his neighbors. This time, there may reports of missing dogs, dog fights, and gambling, but there are also stories of a puppy and a little romance. It's all in A Reckoning in the Back Country.
Terry Shames' website is www.terryshames.com
A Reckoning in the Back Country by Terry Shames. Seventh Street Books. 2018. ISBN 9781633883673 (paperback), 272p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.