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SCARED MONEY
by James Hime
St Martin's Minotaur, October 2004
320 pages
$22.95
ISBN: 0312331363


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Jeremiah Spur is not your usual crime novel hero. He isn't young, handsome or debonair. At 50-something, he has gray hair, crows' feet around the eyes and weathered-looking skin. He is a retired Texas Ranger living on his ranch near the small town of Brenham, Texas. In the past year he has been haunted by the death of his daughter and his wife's alcoholism. All he wants is a little peace and quiet. Spur's idea of excitement is attending the local high school football game on Friday night.

Spur's peace comes to an end when he is approached by a CIA operations officer asking for help. Former CIA operative and assassin Benjamin Farkas has gone straight and is now a real estate tycoon. One of his key people has gone missing with a considerable amount of money taken from Farkas' business. The CIA can't help Farkas as it wouldn't do for Farkas' background to become public knowledge. Farkas wants Spur to look for the missing employee and money and dangles knowing Spur's father as bait -- bait that Spur takes as he has never met his father.

Meanwhile, a rare shooting has occurred in Brenham. Drug dealer Lamont Stubbs and his girlfriend Diedre Brown have been shot to death. Deputy Sheriff Clyde Thomas is assigned to the case. It seems unlikely that Farkas' missing money and the drug deaths could be related, but stranger things have been known to happen.

SCARED MONEY is a journey into the pasts known and unknown of Spur, Farkas and Thomas. It is a complicated story of plots and subplots that are distinguished by the passions felt by the colorful characters on both sides of the law. This is a powerful novel filled with passion, betrayal, revenge, racism, drugs and death.

The story is an intricate adventure in constant motion. Hime writes with strength, verve, spark and vivid language using the vernacular of the region. His in-depth characterizations of Spur, Farkas and Thomas bring them to life. Hime keeps things moving at a brisk pace. My recommendation would be to suspend your disbelief and enjoy the ride.

SCARED MONEY is the second novel in the series featuring former Texas Ranger Jeremiah Spur and Deputy Sheriff Clyde Thomas. Hime's debut novel, THE NIGHT OF THE DANCE, was nominated for the Edgar Award for best first novel.

Reviewed by Lane Wright, September 2004

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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