The Weatherman's Daughters

The Weatherman's Daughters

by Richard Hoyt
     
 

In The Weatherman's Daughters, Richard Hoyt returns to his highly acclaimed John Denson mystery series with a natty new twist.

Frustrated by his inability to trace a criminal monster, Denson sets down his skepticism and accepts, provisionally, the shamanistic ways of his Native partner, Willie Prettybird. Out-of-body flying? Entering the spirit of an

Overview

In The Weatherman's Daughters, Richard Hoyt returns to his highly acclaimed John Denson mystery series with a natty new twist.

Frustrated by his inability to trace a criminal monster, Denson sets down his skepticism and accepts, provisionally, the shamanistic ways of his Native partner, Willie Prettybird. Out-of-body flying? Entering the spirit of an animal? Can it be true? Can Denson solve murders by playing Carlos Castaneda to Willie's Don Juan?

Two daughters of a Portland weatherman have been killed for no apparent reason. Denson and Willie are called from their remote cabins on Whorehouse meadow in the Cascade Mountains to help. But for once Denson is stumped-this is a trail he can't seem to follow.

An exotic dancer wants to join the investigation, and Denson cannot resist her. But does she really intend to help? Or is she a spy or saboteur?

Willie offers Denson a challenge. Since your rational ways aren't working, open the door to shamanism. Leave your body and seek to join the spirit of an animal who might be a guide.

Fearing that he will never come back, Denson takes the risk.

The trail revealed smells of bear galls, ancient Chinese medicine, and right-wing malcontents. Denson, the tracker, is profoundly changed by his discoveries.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
… we're sticking with Denson for his curious mind, which leaps from Plato to Hegel to Rodney Dangerfield to arrive at the theory that crime is the outcome of a failure to respect the human need for acknowledgment. — Marilyn Stasio
Publishers Weekly
A disjointed plot full of absurdities irks more than it entertains in Hoyt's latest John Denson mystery (Whoo?, etc.), which opens with a torrential downpour of live salmon beating Denson and his VW bus to a pulp after he stops at an accident scene alongside an Oregon mountain roadway. A young woman, Sharon Toogood, lies dying of a bullet wound. The daughter of Portland TV weatherman Jerry Toogood, Sharon was carrying Denson's PI firm's card in her wallet. In trying to understand the salmon shower and the deepening mystery surrounding the Toogood family, Denson seeks the aid and counsel of his Native American cohort, Willie Sees the Night. Willie assures Denson that the salmon shower was the spirit world's means of embodying within him the appropriate animal spirit. So, at Denson's insistence, Willie supplies him with a concoction that sends Denson "flying" in an out-of-body experience that may help him find some of the answers to this and a second murder. Over-the-top characters include bear poachers, a health-food store owner who wears Dumbo ears and a sci-fi monster face, members of a militant militia group and a double-jointed girlie-club-dancing FBI agent. Smacking strongly of the 1960's cult film Candy, this will appeal to readers for whom humorous incidentals matter more than a plausible story line. (July 9) FYI: Hoyt is also the author of Old Soldiers Sometimes Lie (Forecasts, date Tk, 2002) and other military/political thrillers. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
John Denson and Native American partner Willie Prettybird trade cultures this time out, as Prettybird's shamanistic beliefs prove essential to solving a double murder. Short on more traditional methods, Denson tries out-of-body spirit travel to gain insight. A quality series, with complementary protagonists. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
After a hiatus for a pair of international thrillers, Hoyt (Old Soldiers Sometimes Lie, 2002, etc.) returns to p.i.’s John Denson and Willie Prettybird, whistling them down from their Whorehouse Meadow hideaways to get to the bottom of murder and weather most foul. The case begins with a sudden storm of coho salmon--hundreds of fish plummeting from the sky above the Columbia River and going "Bum-Bum-Bum-Bum! Whack-Whack-Whack-Whack!" against the sides of Denson’s ancient Volkswagen. It’s the unsettling aftermath of a twister, says Jerry Toogood, the radio weatherman/sage of Portland, Oregon. When the fishy downpour finally relents, Denson confronts more unsettling developments. Near a Ford Explorer pulled off to the side of the road is a fatally wounded young woman, blood gushing from her mouth: "Gurgle, gurgle, gurgle ther. Gurgle, gurgle, ister. Gurgle, gurgle, ill gurgle," which Denson interprets as "Say goodbye to my father and sister." The dying girl is Sharon Toogood, the daughter of that same meteorologist, who hires Denson and Prettybird to find her killer. Skeptical by nature, Denson has always resisted shaman Willie’s metaphysical approach to the gumshoe’s craft, but not this time. Stumped, he allows his partner to chemically induce an out-of-body flight as he encounters, among other imponderables, his ladylove in the shape of an owl ("Voo-hoo-hoo! Voo-hoo-hoo-hoo!"), but then continues clueless until at length the murderer conveniently confesses. Annoyingly digressive and essentially plotless: a clink-clink-clink-clinker.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780765303325
Publisher:
Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
Publication date:
07/01/2003
Series:
John Denson Mysteries Series , #7
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.62(h) x 1.16(d)

Meet the Author

Richard Hoyt, a graduate of the University of Oregon, is a former fellow of the Washington Journalism Center and holds a Ph.D. in American studies from the University of Hawaii. He served as U.S. army counterintelligence agent, wrote for daily newspapers in Honolulu, and was a stringer for Newsweek magazine. He taught journalism at the University of Maryland and at Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Or.

Hoyt is the author of the John Denson mysteries, the James Burlane thrillers and numerous other novels of adventure, espionage and suspense including two under the pseudonym of Nicholas van Pelt. In researching and writing in more than two dozen countries in Europe, Latin America, and Asia, he has ridden trains across the Soviet Union and riverboats down the Amazon. He now lives in the Philippines.

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