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by Bill Crider
Thomas Dunne Books, April 2006
263 pages
ISBN: 0312323875

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

A MAMMOTH MURDER is the 13th book in the series to feature Sheriff Dan Rhodes of Blacklin County, Texas. Rhodes is trying to deal with his wife's new low fat diet and is contemplating a trip to the Dairy Queen when Blacklin County's resident Bigfoot devotee Bud Turley accosts him.

Turley has found an enormous ancient-looking tooth in a part of the woods that only he frequents with his long-time friend Larry Colley. It appears that Bigfoot is alive and kicking. Rhodes is reluctantly persuaded to look after the tooth at the police station until it can be looked at a paleontologist from the local community college.

When Bud is found dead the following day from a massive blow to his head his friend claims that it is the work of Bigfoot. Rhodes, on the other hand, believes that an earthly person did the deed, or possibly the feral hogs that roam free. When an elderly woman is also killed, Rhodes is certain that the two deaths are linked. However, his attempts to track down the murderer are hindered when Bigfoot enthusiasts contaminate the crime scene. The site also happens to be close to the place where a young boy disappeared a decade earlier.

A MAMMOTH MURDER is a thoughtful novel and we watch as Rhodes moves ahead in his investigation of the two murders, which segues into his determination to find out what really happened to the young boy that was killed ten years ago. His quiet determination is advanced with the knowledge and the use of the tittle-tattle that is abound in the small town where he lives.

Police procedurals do not always tend to have much humor in them but in the case of the Sheriff Rhodes series by Bill Crider, this is the opposite. The humor is wry and subtle and Crider has expertly combined it with an extremely strong police procedural. Crider is an expert storyteller and it is not surprising that this series has garnered the following that it has. There are a number of eccentric and colorful characters, which add panache to not only the story but also the series.

Reviewed by Ayo Onatade, May 2006

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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