Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"The Devil's Bones"

Larry D. Sweazy's first western, The Rattlesnake Season, a Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger novel, was released in 2009. Book #2 in the Josiah Wolfe series, The Scorpion Trail, followed in 2010. Book #3, The Badger's Revenge, was released on April, 2011, and Book #4, The Cougar's Prey, followed in October, 2011.

He applied the Page 69 Test to The Devil's Bones, his first mystery novel, and reported the following:
Interestingly, this page definitely reflects the book. It captures the environment, the overgrown, unkemptness of the pond where a severe drought has exposed a skeleton—the event that drew the marshal and Jordan McManus, the main character, to the pond in the first place. It also introduces the sheriff, who is suspicious of Jordan, and the story he tells about the unfolding events. And it is the first up close viewing Jordan actually gets of the skeleton. Like everybody else, he think the skeleton belongs to Tito Cordova, a half-white, half-Mexican boy who disappeared nineteen years earlier.
Jordan walked away from Hogue, restraining himself from striking out, and took his first close-up look at the skeleton. The butterscotch brown bones were covered with dried mud, but everything looked intact; the rib cage poked out of the ground perfectly, even the fingers were still attached. Flies had lost the opportunity to lay their eggs in the flesh long ago; there were no signs of insects anywhere, except the ever-present cloud of mosquitoes that swarmed over the pond. It looked like the bones…
I hope a reader would want to know more, since this section of the book is pretty much the catalyst for everything that follows. Who is the skeleton? Is it really Tito Cordova? Who lured the marshal to the pond and shot him? And why? All of the questions that Jordan has about what’s going on, are reflected on this page. This is more than a revenge novel, and it could be confused to be a child-in-peril novel, but it’s not, though it does have that feel to it in the beginning. I hope in the end, page 69 reflects the mystery, and the heart of the story. Honestly, I didn’t plan it that way, but I think it does.
Learn more about the book and author at Larry D. Sweazy's website and blog.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Larry D. Sweazy and Brodi and Sunny.

Writers Read: Larry D. Sweazy.

--Marshal Zeringue