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Posted December 22, 2002
While Christmas tree grower Mark Redmon is spraying his fields with a well-diluted and virtually harmless pesticide, ecology activist Hoxley is up to no good, sneaking onto the farm. But whatever Hoxley has been told to take care of, things don't turn out exactly as he had planned. Before he knows it, something toxic has knocked him for a loop and he is down for the count. Redmon finds the dead body and calls the cops. Now he has the EPA on his tail for using the illegal insecticide that killed Hoxley, a substance Redmon claims he never touched. An attractive reporter is on to Redmon, too, trying to catch him in a lie about his methods of getting rid of worms. In the meantime, a young immigrant farm worker, done for the season with Redmon, moves on--into involuntary servitude with men too dangerous for even the rural police to face. Here's a book with lots of excitement and plot turns, written well by a man who knows his Christmas trees and his California underworld. A one-time investigative reporter, Milligan also operated a Christmas tree farm. So all the background in this book derives from information that is basically true (more or less). The Pine Field Killing takes hold on page one and doesn't let go or stop its action until the end. This is one of the few male adventure type stories I've read of late, as the mainstream no longer publishes this crime subgenre much. Because of that, anyone who likes an action saga should find such stories where they turn up--more usually from the little press--such as here. Take a chance with the book, which you'll enjoy. G. Miki Hayden, author of Writing the Mystery-- a Macavity winner and Agatha and Anthony nominationWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.