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Grave on Peckerwood Hill, The



 
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2013 Texas Assoc. of Authors Best Suspense Thriller
Synopsis
All Charlie Eastman wants is a home on the range, but he’s a magnet for everything he’s trying to avoid: crazy people, dead people, people who kill people, love… and his own death.

Tall, laid-back Eastman proudly wears a cowboy hat awarded to him by the late Ann Richards, governor of Texas. Unfortunately, everyone repeatedly mistakes Eastman for a Texas Ranger in this fast-paced, contemporary authentic Texas mystery. Set in West Texas today, The Grave On Peckerwood Hill is chock full of authentic dialogue, historically accurate facts and geography, and natural humor.

The story begins with two teenage boys from drastically different backgrounds sneaking out of their homes after midnight during an ice storm and unwittingly videoing their own murders. Lacking clues, a sheriff begs the help of Eastman, a retired corruption investigator for the governor’s office. Eastman declines, citing a recent mental breakdown. Unluckily, Eastman has an auto accident that traumatizes Austin Blackie, a champion stud bull owned by the wealthy widow of Red Pirtle, a simple plumber who launched the home improvement store craze in the fifties. After convincing Eastman that he rendered the bull impotent, the old woman and a mysterious tattoo artist scam Eastman into searching for her brother, whom she hasn’t seen for seventy years. The case partners Eastman with Doc Page, the red-haired town doctor whose terrible, swift tongue and smell of Noxzema cleansing cream drives him wild. A statue of three enormous peanuts on the town square that locals call Gooberhenge and a cockeyed promise Eastman makes atop a windmill, sets off an uncontrollable chain reaction of violence. The Grave On Peckerwood Hill is second cousin to No Country For Old Men, yet it is more than the pursuit of an evil force across Texas. The protagonist, Charlie Eastman, is a catalyst for trouble, and the story is as multifaceted as a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode with a mix of humorous, psychopathic characters. Fans of Elmore Leonard should find it to their liking.

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