The third in the Ike Schwartz series about a ex-spook small town sheriff in the Shenandoah Valley in rural Virginia. This time someone has dumped a body in Ike’s jurisdiction (well, six feet his side of the county line, anyway). The bad news is his deputy says it looks like a member of one of the feuding families of Buffalo Mountain. The worse news is it isn’t, it’s an ex-Soviet spy of Ike’s previous acquaintance.
It’s always amazing to me how much Ramsay can pack into 257 pages. Here there is the main plot of figuring out who killed the dead guy, Ike’s relationship with Ruth, Ruth’s relationship with Ike’s parents, Deputy Sam’s relationship with a Feeb, Ike’s past relationship with the CIA and the role it may or may not have had in the death of his wife, Deputy Billingsley’s persistent, painstaking pursuit that ends in a did-not-see-that-coming way, the wonderful characters of Colonel Twelvetrees and Master Sergeant T.J, plus we now know that Harley-Davidson has special paint for its motorcycles, and then after all that Ramsay finds room for an intermittent, book-long rant at bad thriller novels
“Can’t anyone write a decent thriller anymore?” she said to the trashcan. “Is it too much to ask for the plot to be at least plausible and the characters realistic?” She realized that this was the eighth in the Sledge series and by now the author didn’t have to work at his craft. His books were all marked, By Best Selling Author… and that was sufficient to move them briskly off the shelves.
Ouch. And Ramsay has gone to the effort of writing excerpts. Delightful.
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