Strawman's Hammock

Strawman's Hammock

5.0 1
by Darryl Wimberley
     
 

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"On a chilly October morning, Barrett "Bear" Raines finds himself on the campground of Linton Loyd, one of the richest men in Florida, watching Linton clean his latest catch. Barrett does not understand why he, an African-American detective for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, has been invited to the rich man's playground, but he soon discovers that Linton…  See more details below

Overview

"On a chilly October morning, Barrett "Bear" Raines finds himself on the campground of Linton Loyd, one of the richest men in Florida, watching Linton clean his latest catch. Barrett does not understand why he, an African-American detective for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, has been invited to the rich man's playground, but he soon discovers that Linton wants something from him: He wants Barrett to run for county sheriff, and Linton will help sponsor the campaign. Barrett doesn't know what to make of the appealing offer and decides to think about it." "The following week at work, Barrett learns of a case in which illegal immigrants are being forced to bale straw under rigged contracts, and the department wants to find out just how widespread the problem is. Barrett agrees to accompany Jarold Pearson, an old acquaintance and game warden, to the woods of Linton Loyd's straw-baling company. However, the men find more than a group of scared migrant workers: In a secluded tin shack, they discover the body of a young woman pinned to the wall, almost as if she had been crucified. Based on evidence at the scene, Linton's only son becomes the prime suspect, but what does that do for Barrett's chances at becoming sheriff?" In a setting mysterious in itself, where an ancient woman could really be a witch, as people claim, Barrett faces a horrible crime with a solution that continually changes shape, as elusive as the strange lights that flicker in his native swamps.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The highest praise you can pay Wimberley's third procedural featuring African-American policeman Barrett Raines (after Dead Man's Bay and A Rock and a Hard Place) is that it makes you want to read his first two - like now. Wimberley's north Florida setting is so alive you can smell the pine. ("Resin seeped from those ancient trunks like maple syrup. The pine cones were large. They reminded you, when opened, of pineapples.") The two principles, Raines, special agent of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and his wife, Laura Anne, are very appealing and believable. And the villain is enough to give you the shivers. The author's clear and flowing prose carries you right along with nary an extraneous word, and the suspense builds on narrative interest - what happens next - rather than violent incidents. In the course of investigating the working conditions of Mexican laborers brought in to harvest pine needles, Raines finds a young woman murdered in the woods in a manner that's viciously obscene. The suspects at first seem so obvious that it's hard to choose among them. Raines changes his mind more than once, but the logic of his thinking is always sound. In addition to the murder, he has to sort out a child pornographer, consider an offer to run for mayor and deal with a childhood nightmare - his father's murder. Laura Anne, a wonderfully bright and warm character, provides aid and comfort. This first-rate detective novel deserves a large audience. (Nov. 12). Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
When Barrett Raines, of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, is asked to run for county sheriff, he's not just flattered and intrigued, but on fire for the job. To begin with, no African-American has ever been elected anything in Suwannee County, which might be reason enough to run right there. As sheriff, he'd be top law-enforcement dog, boss of his own clean, efficient department. But the proposition would also be a Faustian bargain with rich, powerful, utterly unscrupulous Linton Loyd, a powerbroker who's never given a single volt of power away. Loyd hates incumbent Lou Sessions, and nothing would please him more than to see Sessions jobless and thoroughly aware of how he got that way. While Barrett is still debating the pluses and minuses of Loyd's offer, a series of grisly murders drastically changes its terms. All three homicides are connected in one way or another to the Loyd family-at first to Gary, the no-account heir apparent, then to Linton Loyd himself. Sheriff Sessions is delighted when the case against his longtime enemy begins to seem airtight-so delighted that honest Barrett Raines, to whom law enforcement is a high calling, finds it more complicated than usual to be honest Barrett Raines. Best of the series so far (Dead Man's Bay, 2000, etc.), flawed only by a Grand Guignol finale tacked on to an ending that's already wound up the tale as neat as can be.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592642267
Publisher:
Toby Press LLC, The
Publication date:
05/01/2008
Series:
Barrett Raines Series
Pages:
285
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

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Strawman's Hammock 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
To get closer to his family, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Detective Barrett ¿Bear¿ Raines transfers to Lafayette County. Influential tycoon Linton Lloyd wants Bear to run for country sheriff against his enemy, the incumbent Lou Sessions. Several years ago, Linton¿s son Gary impregnated Lou¿s daughter but did nothing except abandon the lass.

Bear wants to do it because a victory allows him even more time with his family. Though he has doubts that an African-American can win here, Linton persuades him to try. However, a brutal murder with evidence pointing towards Gary leaves the investigating Bear with quite a conflict of interest that could violate state ethics laws if he is not careful.

STRAWMAN¿S HAMMOCK is a that augments the investigation with the political side of law enforcement. The story line is filled with action that never lets up until the case is solved. Bear is a great character whose morality keeps him trying to do the right thing while his wife enhances the reader¿s understanding of his complex character. Darryl Wimberly has written a strong tale that sub-genre fans will appreciate.

Harriet Klausner