Mitchum: Back to Madisonby Billy F. Mitchell
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Mitchum is a story about a man in his late 40’s. He and his wife had planned an early retirement from his very successful but heavily stressful law practice in Atlanta. They and their young daughter, born to them as a blessing at the beginning of their middle age, decide to move to his old hometown in south Alabama. His wife is ill, he never spends time with his only child and Mitchum wants to simplify his life. However, his wife’s illness is more serious than either they or the doctors had thought, and before they can move, she dies. He is inconsolable. It seems as though nothing can ease his profound sense of grief. But when he sees the effect his grief has on his precious daughter, he comes to himself enough to realize that it is now time to go home in an attempt to make a new start for them both. In the dead of night, he and his daughter make the sad and lonely trip back. The first person he meets upon his return is his cousin, Gandy, a ruddy and corpulent lady in her middle 50’s. Bossy but lovable, Gandy tries to restore some order to Mitchum’s upturned household. He then meets several people at the local junior college where he has accepted a part time post teaching in the Criminal Justice Department. One is an enormous, yet gentle, black Physical Education instructor who may not be as mild mannered as he first appears. Another is the oleaginous Dean of Instruction, a transplanted Yankee who turns out to the head of the local KKK. A third is Gina, a middle aged divorcee whose fresh face and understated beauty immediately and pleasantly distract Mitchum. He also begins to reacquaint himself with several high school classmates. An old adversary is now the county sheriff. However, in a small town, rivalries are not soon forgotten even when the adversaries have been separated by time and space for thirty years. Mitchum senses that the two may still be at cross-purposes. One old buddy became a pharmacist like his father and grandfather before him and inherited the family drugstore. His other boyhood chum has become a drunken derelict, a mere shadow of the football star he had once been. The school “slut” is now a respectable married woman whose husband is the wealthiest man in the county, if not the state. When Mitchum knew him, he was from the poorest white trash family in the county. The old gang is physically different from those high school days, fatter, sagging jowls, and some with less hair. But the same old personalities, weakness and alliances would soon reappear. Most of the encounters Mitchum has with the faces and places of his past upon his return home are pleasant. But he is deeply upset by the appearance of his drunken friend. It seems as if the latter is haunted by something so devastating that it is eating him alive. Another renewed acquaintance disturbs him as well- his old grade school teacher. She implores him to investigate the disappearance of her grandson and his girlfriend over twenty years ago. She just can’t believe what the whole town had accepted long ago, that the young couple ran off to get away from her. While Mitchum reluctantly agrees to look into the situation, she places into his hand the thread that leads him to solve the mystery surrounding the two runaways and exposes some tightly kept town secrets in the process. Friends may be foes and foes can be friends in this exciting mystery set in the Deep South.
- Xlibris Corporation
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Its okay but not as good as i suspected it to be
Reminiscent of a film noir of yesteryear, MITCHUM is a good, old-fashioned mystery story. Interesting characters and an unusual twist at the end keep readers intrigued.