Archive for February 11th, 2007
Plains Crazy is a fantastic book about a day when all hell breaks loose in a small town in Kansas. Sheriff English starts off the day with the death of a young man who has been shot in the back with an authentic Cheyenne arrow. But the sheriff is called away from that scene to an apparent bank robbery and then to various locations around town where pipe bombs have exploded or been found unexploded. Add in a mad motorcyclist, two girls named Heather, a lost love, a wolf, a fast car, a loose grenade, and a make-or-break deadline, and you have a tremendous story.
Plains Crazy is funny, well plotted, and well written. As I was reading this book, I was reminded of the great old movie Itâ€™s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. The characters in Plains Crazy arenâ€™t on a treasure hunt, but they are working at a frantic pace to figure out what is going on and find those responsible. Hayes has the reader follow different characters around town (many of whom have been pressed into service by the seriously understaffed Sheriff) to see the unusual and sometimes outlandish events from different perspectives – and they all have their own interpretations of what is going on in their little burg.
But this book isnâ€™t all a light-hearted adventure. Hayes expertly mixes in serious, and even tragic, elements that sneak up on the reader and wrench you in a new direction. But he doesnâ€™t belabor these moments. Instead, he expresses them in the most concise and meaningful way and then moves on.
My only criticism of this book is the impossibly neat bundle the ending was tied up into. I donâ€™t buy it, but it didnâ€™t diminish my love for the book by much.
Favorite character? Tough choice between Mrs. Kraus and Deputy Wynn. Did I guess it? This is more of an unraveling than a guessing book. Iâ€™ll go with no. Will I read another? Absolutely! I may read this one again before it goes back to the library.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com Â©2007