Riding A Blue Horse

Riding A Blue Horse

5.0 1
by Carter Elliott
     
 

In this powerful and frequently stunning debut novel set in a remote mountain county of West Virginia, just as the criminals, who prove not to be brilliant tacticians, and the police, who are not corrupt clods, defy their stereotypes, so does Molly Small. Over the hill, at fourteen, in the kiddie-porn industry, and dumped by the operators who continue to torment

Overview

In this powerful and frequently stunning debut novel set in a remote mountain county of West Virginia, just as the criminals, who prove not to be brilliant tacticians, and the police, who are not corrupt clods, defy their stereotypes, so does Molly Small. Over the hill, at fourteen, in the kiddie-porn industry, and dumped by the operators who continue to torment her, Molly refuses to lie down and play victim. Her spirit feisty, her tongue salty, she calls upon all her resources—cunning, fantasy, fabrication, common sense, humor, sheer will—not only to survive but to begin life anew. But it ain't no way easy. Molly's unexpected appearance in Shawnee, where she hopes to connect with a man known by locals only as Turk, turns out to be only the first in a series of ominous events to challenge the investigative skills of the quiet, God-fearing state trooper Roscoe Bragg and young postal inspector Rens Vandermeer. A private plane crashes and leaves an illegally adopted six-year-old boy abandoned on a snowy mountainside; the body of a lost little girl is found in a leaf bag; witnesses disappear, and so does Molly.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The plot of this promising debut from Elliott, a former Marine and CIA agent with a degree in clinical psychology, doesn't bear close inspection, but intriguing characters, many of them unsavory, and a vivid, wintry mountain setting more than compensate. In the Appalachian town of Shawnee, W.Va., the local "convenience store" sells groceries, liquor and gas-and provides entertainment in the lounge and motel out back. Shug Basty seizes the opportunity to expand his nasty little operation into a much nastier and larger operation featuring young children and high-paying customers supplied by kiddie-porn big shots. At 14, spunky Molly Small is already too old and experienced for the new type of customer Basty is seeking to please, but hardened as she already is, Molly rebels against what is planned for a young boy. And "Stupe," Shug's "slow" 18-year-old son, also rebels when he makes a grisly discovery. Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies become involved, with state trooper Roscoe Bragg emerging as an engaging leader. A tired plot device and some not terribly credible developments detract a bit, but Molly's grit and Stupe's burgeoning independence play out quite nicely as Molly manages to recapture a bit of her childhood innocence and Stupe begins to mature into adulthood. (July 9) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786711819
Publisher:
Avalon Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/25/2003
Series:
Otto Penzler Books Series
Pages:
242
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.95(d)

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Carter Elliott brings to life the dialect and the folkways of one West Virginia community in this debut crime novel that snakes up snow-covered Sad Mother Mountain and skids down Dumb John's Mountain with page-turning prose skating by faster than a car hitting ice on a hairpin curve. 'Riding a Blue Horse' is the story of 14-year-old (and over the hill) Molly Small -- who's making her way to a West Virginia remote mountain county that headquarters a ring of kiddie-porn operators -- and Molly's unlikely protector, a lumbering, simpleminded 18-year-old the locals have nicknamed 'Stupe.' Molly's unexpected appearance in Shawnee turns out to be but the first in a series of unusual events facing God-fearing state trooper Roscoe Bragg and young postal inspector Rens Vandermeer. The day after she arrives, a small private plane crashes into Dumb John's Mountain, leaving the pilot dead, and -- huddled in the snowy wreckage, a terrified, helpless, illegally adopted six-year-old boy. There's more surprises in store when, much to his astonishment, Stupe discovers the heavy leaf bag doesn't contain the dead fawn his daddy said he'd hit and wanted Stupe to bury. The former CIA officer/special agent with a Masters in clinical psychology puts his background to good use in a poignant, richly layered story that resonates both in the heart and mind.