Monday, October 02, 2017

The Long Count - J.M. Gulvin

THE LONG COUNT is a fine new thriller by J.M. Gulvin, set in Texas during the Sixties. Texas Ranger John Quarrie, who carries a pair of Ruger Blackhawk revolvers and whose godfather was legendary Ranger Frank Hamer, is called in to investigate two cases: the apparent suicide of an elderly World War II veteran and a series of brutal murders carried out by a spree killer working his way across northeast Texas. I don’t think it’s giving away too much to say that eventually Quarrie’s investigation uncovers some surprising links between those cases. Gulvin’s plot has plenty of twists and turns along the way, though.

Quarrie is a very likable protagonist, the single father of a ten-year-old son who also winds up playing a part in the plot. He’s just flashy enough to be interesting and is also a smart, determined investigator. There’s a good sense of time and place (although as someone who grew up in Texas during the Sixties, I don’t think Gulvin quite nails it all the time) and plenty of good dialogue. Gulvin has a distinctive style that took me some getting used to, but he’s also a top-notch storyteller who kept me turning the pages. THE LONG COUNT is the first of a new series that reminded me at times of Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire books. Well worth checking out.

1 comment:

Bill Crider said...

My review goes up later today.