Astride a Pink Horse

Overview

The Cold War ended years ago, or did it? For Thurmond Giles, a decorated African American Air Force veteran found naked, dead, and dangling by his ankles inside a deactivated minuteman missile silo in desolate southeastern Wyoming, the answer is no. The labyrinthine investigation that follows his death—led by former fighter pilot Major Bernadette Cameron and ex-college baseball phenom-turned-reporter Elgin “Cozy” Coseia—reveals how the atomic ...

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Astride a Pink Horse

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Overview

The Cold War ended years ago, or did it? For Thurmond Giles, a decorated African American Air Force veteran found naked, dead, and dangling by his ankles inside a deactivated minuteman missile silo in desolate southeastern Wyoming, the answer is no. The labyrinthine investigation that follows his death—led by former fighter pilot Major Bernadette Cameron and ex-college baseball phenom-turned-reporter Elgin “Cozy” Coseia—reveals how the atomic era’s legacy has continued to destroy both minds and lives.
 
Astride a Pink Horse follows Bernadette, Cozy, and Cozy’s boss Freddie Dames match wits with a gallery of unforgettable murder suspects: a powerful, right-wing-leaning cattle rancher; a declining seventy-six-year-old WWII-era Japanese internment camp victim and her unstable math professor cousin; an idealistic lifelong nuclear arms protestor; and a civilian Air Force contractor with a twenty-year grudge against the murder victim. Do three amateur detectives stand a chance against these characters and the conspiracy that may be behind it all? Robert Greer’s trademark mix of vivid eccentrics, surprising plot twists, and political edge makes this one of his most memorable thrillers.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Greer takes a break from his well-crafted CJ Floyd series (First of State, etc.) with this so-so post–cold war mystery. When the body of retired African-American Air Force Master Sgt. Thurmond Giles is found hanging by ankle chains in an abandoned missile silo near Wheatland, Wyo., wealthy, ambitious Freddy Dames, publisher of the Web’s Digital Registry News, assigns reporter Elgin “Cozy” Coseia to the story. Maj. Bernadette Cameron, an ex-fighter pilot, investigates the security breach involved. Giles’s dual expertise in nuclear-missile warheads and seducing women provides avenues to explore, as does the possibility that Giles’s murder was a hate crime. Among the suspects are antinuke protesters, including WWII U.S. internment camp survivor Kimiko Takata and her 42-year-old cousin, Rikia, who likes to re-enact WWII air battles with model airplanes. Bernadette and Cozy click for a climactic chase after which the plot creaks to an unsatisfying denouement. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"Greer takes a new direction from his popular series character, CJ Floyd (Blackbird, Farewell), and I hope [new characters] Bernadette and Cozy will be back soon. The refreshingly eccentric cast and elaborately structured plot make for an engrossing tale. Think Elmore Leonard, Brad Parks, and Craig Johnson."
Library Journal

“Greer’s writing style is relaxed and redolent of experience, spinning a tale of opportunities lost, delayed revenge, and unexpected life-changing events that breathe life into the characters without overwhelming their personalities. The twists and turns of the investigation are deftly handled; nothing feels out of place or illogical in the scenes or the transitions from one character's viewpoint to another. … Lovers of mystery (in particular, the evocation of place that Tony Hillerman achieved in his novels set in the Southwest) will find Astride a Pink Horse well worth their time.”
ForeWord magazine 

"Greer, best known for his always engaging CJ Floyd mysteries, steps outside his comfort zone here. Time will tell if his three protagonists make another appearance-that would be a good thing, and Greer leaves the door open-but the tone is different here from the sometimes dour Floyd novels. The banter among the trio is light; sly humor abounds; and though the crime is awful and the motives dark, the reader will enjoy the journey to a satisfying resolution."
Booklist

"This book is a must-read for action fans."
—LibraryThing

"Greer's dialogue is sharp and natural, at times very witty. Astride a Pink Horse is simultaneously fun and thought-provoking, entertaining and heart-breaking."
—Jen's Book Thoughts

Library Journal
When a retired Air Force missile technician is found dead and mutilated on a restricted military site in remote Wyoming, Air Force Major Bernadette Cameron and Denver-based reporter Elgin "Cozy" Coseia are among the first to arrive on the scene. The victim, African American Thurmond Giles, had cut quite a wide swath during his tenure; it's hard to decide whether the murder was a hate crime or an act of personal revenge. A crowd of suspects emerges: two former lovers, a Japanese American family with deep anger about World War II, a disgruntled rancher, and a wronged husband. Bernadette, granddaughter of a Tuskegee airman, and somewhat of a maverick, keeps tripping over Cozy until they decide to work together on the case. Things heat up quickly, because the killer has bigger plans ahead. VERDICT Greer takes a new direction from his popular series character, C.J. Floyd (Blackbird, Farewell), and I hope Bernadette and Cozy will be back soon. The refreshingly eccentric cast and elaborately structured plot make for an engrossing tale. Think Elmore Leonard, Brad Parks, and Craig Johnson.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583943694
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books
  • Publication date: 3/27/2012
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Greer is a professor of pathology, medicine, dermatology, and dentistry at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, where he specializes in head and neck pathology and cancer research. The author of nine CJ Floyd mysteries, including The Devil’s Hatband, The Mongoose Deception, and First of State, as well as two medical thrillers, he reviews books for KUVO, a Denver NPR affiliate. Learn more about Robert Greer at www.robertgreerbooks.com.

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