Deputy Johnny Hart's life is falling apart around him. Recently divorced, recovering from a debilitating rodeo accident, and stuck in a dead-end job in the tiny Kiowa County Police Department, Johnny is slowly fading into a haze of alcohol and depression. Just as Johnny is hitting bottom, an old friend from his rodeo days, Char Sixkiller, shows up. There's something fishy about his sudden appearance, but Johnny is too wrapped up in his own problems to push the issue. Someone matching Char's description is suspected of ...
Deputy Johnny Hart's life is falling apart around him. Recently divorced, recovering from a debilitating rodeo accident, and stuck in a dead-end job in the tiny Kiowa County Police Department, Johnny is slowly fading into a haze of alcohol and depression. Just as Johnny is hitting bottom, an old friend from his rodeo days, Char Sixkiller, shows up. There's something fishy about his sudden appearance, but Johnny is too wrapped up in his own problems to push the issue. Someone matching Char's description is suspected of killing and mutilating blond women and dumping the bodies in plaecs where Native Americans were brutally killed in the past. When the FBI comes looking for Char, it's up to Johnny to clear his friend's name. But first he has to figure out what Char is hiding, and why his friend seems to be covering for a murderer.
D.W. Linden's SAND CREEK is a mystery set in southeastern Colorado with an unlikely sleuth, a broken down cowboy, hunting down Native American history to unearth a serial killer and save his friend from murder allegations. SAND CREEK is a mystery with an intriguing romance subplot. Superb characterization and themes make this a 5+ mystery read. Ex-rodeo man and now laid back sheriff Johnny Hart's life is fairly much lost down the bottle. He hasn't been to a rodeo in a while, his wife has left him and his superiors are always warning him. He is even finding it difficult to track down the cattle rustlers. It could not get much worse, but of course, it does. His friend and rodeo buddy Char Sixkiller has been pegged by the FBI as the serial killer mutilating blond white women and dumping them on historic sites of Native American massacres. Can broken down cowboy Johnny save himself, his friend and Sandy?
This mystery focuses mostly on the friendship between two men and the hunt for a killer. Johnny and Char have a long history fro their rodeo past. Both are broken cowboys from past scars but loyal friends. In searching for the identity of the serial killer, Johnny and Char must face their past and rely on their friendship. Can the present hunt also heal their past and teach them how to forgive? Although the mystery focuses on the friendship between Char and Johnny, two important women in this mystery make Sand Creek a 5 star+ read and more than a mystery. Barbara, Johnny's ex-wife, is a divorcee with a career and independent. Sandy Cross is an independent unmarried woman, running her cattle ranch mostly alone since Mr. Cross is just too old. She is a Christian but she is spending a lot of time with a man with different spiritual beliefs and a Native American when Native Americans are seen with suspicion in this part of the country. Will she calmly break the law when push comes to shove? Sometimes a girl has to do what she has to do! Sandy is blond and smart and breaks all stereotypes. When the going gets tough, she doesn't reach for the hair dye or the comfort of the big city. Sandy in this book can be described with one word --- fortitude. She may seem preachy for one small moment or two but circumstances have to mellow out her fortitude and make it less rigid. The Christian element is balanced by the Native American massacre reality and the character of Char who also sees more than beyond his viewpoint. Actually, all the characters in this novel are written without rigid good and evil traits.
Linden's description of the locale draws the reader into the culture and landscape of Southeastern Colorado. A slightly melancholic tone in the beginning was a nice reading change from the typical mystery read. Readers will enjoy hearing about the history of the Native Americans and the massacres. Sand Creek has some nice twists and turns mystery-wise. The first third of this book is more about the rodeo life, the area, and the building of the friendship between Johnny and Char and the life of Sandy.
This was not a romance per se but readers may particularly enjoy its multi-faceted take on love: friendship, love and understanding that divorced people might still have, love emerging, the love of a father for a child, a Christian understanding of love, a Native American approach to spirituality and love/friendship. SAND CREEK offers an intriguing insight into history and the massacres. A very nice read...a mystery but also a view more expansive and some insights readers may remember and ponder even after finishing the last page.
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