Monday, February 1, 2016

A THOUSAND FALLING CROWS by Larry D. Sweazy






Larry D. Sweazy's A Thousand Falling Crows is brutally violent western noir.

Don't get me wrong. A Thousand Falling Crows is an excellent book, well worth reading. But I wanted you to know from the beginning to expect the pain this book shares.

A dog kept me reading. Along the way, I found myself thinking, "If Sweazy kills the dog, I'm done with this book." But I made it to the end.

Texas Ranger Sonny Burton lost his right arm because of the wound he got in a shootout with Bonnie and Clyde.

At first, Burton wants to feel sorry for himself, to hang around the shack and not come out. But several things change that.

A poor Hispanic hospital janitor asks Burton to help him find his sixteen-year-old run-away daughter. At the same time, a serial murderer leaves one young woman after another beaten, dead, and brutalized along the side of the road.

Because he lost his arm, Burton is "retired" from the Texas Rangers. It galls him that the Rangers have assigned his alienated son to take his place.

Mix in the dust bowl depression era, a long-term county sheriff, a helpful nurse with terrible problems, and several other people (suspects Burton has known much of his life), and you have a powerful story.

I bought this book because of its unusual title. The crows do play an important part.

I can't remember how I came across A Thousand Falling Crows. I don't accept free Advanced Reading Copies. But I get a lot of requests about ARCs. Sometimes if the book looks interesting, I buy it and read it. I suspect that's how I learned of this book.

For me, the book got better about halfway in. And by the end, I was glad Sweazy hadn't killed the dog.

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