The Not Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs & The Crazy Case of Foreman Jamesby David Niall Wilson
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Foreman James has always walked the streets of Old Mill, North Carolina, standing tall on street corners and booming his "story" to the world. Not many know where he comes from, or where he goes - no one knows the whole story. When an old, hand-written journal Foreman has carried since childhood goes missing, his carefully preserved world begins to crumble, and Old Mill takes notice.
When Cletus J. Diggs' buddy Jasper drops by to tell him how the crazy man was accosting pedestrians on the street, nearly got picked up by the sheriff, and drew the attention of one of the most powerful, and potentially evil men in ten country miles, Jarrod Pope, Cletus is interested. You see, Cletus found a book that day - a very old book - and it has bits and pieces of a very personal, very dark mystery tucked into its weathered pages.
Can Cletus, investigator, common-law lawyer, journalist, ordained minister and self-taught jack of all trades unravel that mystery despite the years that separate him from it before something very bad happens? Will Jasper ever get to go fishing? Will Foreman get his book back - and just what happened, decades in the past, when the old peanut oil factory burned down - the Day Jarrod Pope was a hero? Find out in the pages of The Crazy Case of Foreman James - the second Cletus J. Diggs supernatural mystery. Welcome to Old Mill.
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Old Mill, NC, is the sort of place where nothing seems untoward - but dig a little and you'll find all manner of hidden secrets, dark occurrences in the past and no end of quietly simmering feuds. Cletus - Jack of all trades, local fixer if you will, takes on more than he bargains for and ends up entangled in the town's oldest and darkest unsolved mystery - one that stretches across several families and threatens to reveal some uncomfortable truths. The stakes are high, Cletus and his pal Jasper, who'd rather be fishing, must use their wits, resources and good ol' fashioned diggin' about to work their way through this one. Along the way, there's a little bit of magic, some attempted kidnapping, a few astonishing clues, and a lot of beer caps being popped in thoughtful repose. There are some interesting characters here, some of whom pop up in other Old Mill based stories as well as one of the DeChance Chronicles. There's a certain rural-town charm and lack of polish about the place, and you get a real flavour for the simpler desires, machinations and half-baked dreams that populate these locales. A great read, with a few clever twists, and the help of a certain Swamp witch along the way, ensure you won't tire of turning these pages.