Wednesday, May 8, 2013

BLOOD, ASH & BONE - a Carl Brookins Review

Blood, Ash & Bone
by Tina Whittle
ISBN: 978-1-4642-0093-9
A 2013 HC release
from Poisoned Pen Press.
285 pages


Tai Randolph is an unusual character. She’s a southern gun-shop owner with her own set of tattoos and a questionable background. She also sports intimate contacts in her past with some seriously evil people, people like KKK members, like gun and booze runners. She’s also one of the go-to merchandisers of authentic costuming and equipment for Civil War re-enactors. This novel is Randolph’s third adventure.

There are big re-enactment doings coming up and Randolph has to pack up merchandise to set up at the Southeast Civil War Expo in Savannah. The first problem is her history. Savannah is her home town, seat of her family and scene of some of Tai’s most notorious escapades.

Complications arise almost immediately when her ex-lover a scallywag biker-cum-independent entrepreneur enlists her aid in retrieving a long-sought Bible, once thought to have been in the possession of both President Lincoln and General Sherman. Is it real or just a Maguffin? If it’s real, it’s worth a ton of money. According to John, Tai’s ex-boyfriend, the bible has been purloined by Tai’s ex-roommate, Hope. Hope and John were a heavy item some time ago but that relationship seems to have cooled.

Enter Tai’s current main squeeze, a seriously hot but damaged ex-cop, now a security expert for an upscale security firm in Atlanta. He obviously is highly suspicious of anything Tai’s ex boyfriend touches, especially Tai. Now add some layers of interesting active honest and criminally inclined citizens, some with too much money at hand and you have as rich a gumbo as any reader could ask for.

The story is fast-paced, clean and highly evocative of the place. Whether you’ve been to Savannah or not readers will revel in the city scenes and waterfront activity. Whittle knows her characters, her setting and how to tell a fine story. This one is an excellent novel.

A copy of the novel was supplied free of charge by the publisher.

Carl Brookins,
Case of the Great Train Robbery, Reunion, Red Sky

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