I just finished another Bouchercon book, Torn Apart by Shane Gericke. First I have to assure you, this book is VERY well written. He’s a good writer, but maybe a bit too influenced by the likes of Dashiell Hammett in terms of going to the very ends of the earth to avoid the verb to be. Sometimes you should just say it’s raining hard, okay? Great pacing and good characterization, too. Women were well represented in the action. It had everything I love about a good thriller. Everything PLUS the kitchen sink and more. Oh. My. God.
In which we meet Bucky The Hero Deer
There were chapters from the point of view of a deer. A buck, actually. Who, and I am not kidding, reflects to himself that giants have thunder sticks. In case you’re not conversant with deer-speak, in the human language, thunderstick = a rifle. The buck gets shot by some designer drug selling, raping, murdering for the heck of it, underage sex-slave-selling psychos (DDSRMFTHOIUUSSP for short) but HE DOES NOT DIE! Yay Bucky! (I named him that my own self). Bucky goes on through the wilderness all brave and grown up Bambi and ends up sharing his body heat with a sheriff’s deputy who has been shot by the DDSRMFTHOIUUSSP guys and also almost drowned (the sheriff not Bucky). Bucky also gets bitten by a wolf but he forges on to ultimately use his antlers to stop two other murdering robbers disguised as deer hunters (MRDASH for short)
The two MRDASH guys get their just desserts when another friendly giant (Bucky knows this on account of he is a noble deer) uses a thunder stick to shoot the MRDASH guys who were going to kill Bucky after robbing and murdering a bit. The good giant (probably unknown to Bucky, but I don’t know, Bucky is wise and noble….) arranges to send Bucky to the vet to heal his wounds and at the end of the book, this lady cop who has by now escaped 3 serial killers, a clock bomber, an assassin, been in at least 3 car chases and a shoot out with the DDSRMFTHOIUUSSP who are trying to kidnap her boss’s daughters and then later she runs over (with a minivan) the last DDSRMFTHOIUUSSP causing his impalement on a broken statue **breath** and after that and some other stuff, shares a meaningful moment of nature (NOT THAT!!!) with Bucky. And Bucky I guess has decided to hang around his giant species friends because now he can tell the difference between deer murdering giants with thunder sticks and non-deer murdering giants with thunder sticks. Because he is Bucky, dammit.
And Then MORE stuff happens!
Believe it or not, other stuff happens, too. There’s a cop selling designer drugs to pay for miracle surgery for his cancer-stricken daughter who is also the clock tower bomber and pretending to be a serial killer and he knows the DDSRMFTHOIUUSSP guys AND the rap singer (I think, that might have been unclear) drug dealer of the designer drugs that were also being sold to the pedophile group that was making movies before selling their drug addicted girls to rich men who are not Americans (make of that what you will). The drug is instantly addicting and you have horrible life threatening, mostly fatal withdrawal after a day without it, and it was never clear how the girls survived the trip to the sickos OUTCONUS but whatever.
Then there’s the sheriff who is just plain so lucky it’s unbelievable because he stops the DDSRMFTHOIUUSSP guys only to get shot a bunch of times (bullet proof vest!) because his radio button jams and the backup one gets shot up and broken AND he drops his keys, but then he jumps over a bridge and into really cold water and almost drowns but is saved by hanging onto the body of a teenage girl murdered by the DDSRMFTHOIUUSSP and dumped over the bridge only moments before his arrival. Then he makes it to ground only to have a hallucination that sends him back into the water where he ends up eventually dragging the girl’s body around into the wilderness where they encounter Bucky and then the MRDASH guys and two friendly giants with thunder sticks save the sheriff who eventually gets flown by helicopter to the Mayo Clinic only there this tremendous storm and they’re going to crash (aieeee!!!!) only the pilot is awesome and flies them above the storm to safety only they get hit by lightning and that crashes the helicopter and kills everyone except the sheriff who took a lucky bounce I guess.
Even MORE stuff!!
I’m getting kind of tired now, but anyway, the third serial killer is after the female cop mentioned above, and it turns out it’s a good friend NO ONE ever suspected of giving them “beef” jerky made from his victims who he takes to his remote cabin and gives them a head start before he hunts them down. Luckily, the cop’s cop boyfriend who, it so happens, is one of the good thunder stick giants, happens to drop by looking for a fast car (he finds a Ferarri in the killer’s garage) and while he’s looking for the keys he stumbles upon the jerky-making dungeon where there are incriminating pictures all over including glossies of the girl cop. Lucky! Because now he can drive WAY fast to help save his girlfriend, who ends up hiding under a dead deer carcass and then stabbing serial killer #3 with an antler shortly before a lightning strike causes a big branch to fall on her head and her cop boy friend shoots the serial killer dead.
Even MORE more stuff
Anyway, more stuff happens and I can’t believe I would even recommend this book to anyone, but it’s well written and not hard to read, just hard to swallow after, oh, about the first Bucky POV chapter.