Sunday, November 4, 2012

CRYING BLOOD by Donis Casey

Donis Casey’s Crying Blood is a complicated story.

Shaw Tucker, his brother James, and their sons find a long-buried body on a hunting trip. No one can identify the skeleton.

Shaw sees a ghost and hears the warning voice of his dead father.

Then a teenaged Creek Indian boy follows Shaw home. Shaw captures him and holds him for the sheriff.

Someone kills the boy while Shaw holds him on the Tucker farm. Shaw sets out to catch the killer, to bring justice for the teenager's death.

This whole story leads to a complicated backstory involving Oklahoma land given to the Creeks.

At first there seem to be two separate mysteries. Shaw’s step-father owns a breeding horse. A former friend steals the horse’s seed. He kidnaps the championship quality horse just long enough to breed it to his mare.

But the two stories collide. And Shaw returns to the haunted unoccupied family farm where they were hunting. He hopes to kill the ghost he saw the first time.

As always, Donis Casey fills the story with authentic details. One special scene has the family butchering hogs. Anyone who has ever done that (or watched it done) understands the reality of what Casey writes.

This is the first Alafair Tucker story which doesn’t intricately involve one of Alafair’s daughters’ plans to marry. I missed that side story. I suspect Casey missed it too.

I loved this story, as I have loved them all, but I’m not sure I followed everything that happened. The plot was too complex.

All in all, I can’t say enough good things about these books. I thought this was the weakest of them so far, but well worth reading. I continue to recommend the Alafair Tucker novels.

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