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Set in Oklahoma at the close of WWII, Russell's engrossing mystery casts light on a little-known corner of American history. When harmless indigent Spark Dugan winds up dead in the Waynoka rail yards, the local yard dog (i.e., railroad detective), Hook Runyon, decides the man's death was no accident. Runyon soon learns that mild-mannered Dugan may have been involved in a local ring smuggling army goods. As more details come to light, Runyon begins to suspect a big-time operation that involves foul play at a nearby Nazi POW camp-and possibly a local oil tycoon with a penchant for lavish living. With the help of the camp cook and community moonshiner as well as the POW camp's English teacher, Runyon and his friends are soon ensnared in a dangerous investigation that's anything but routine railroad detective work. Russell (Dreams to Dust) impressively contrasts the book's raw, colorful characters with the harsh Oklahoma landscape. (Sept.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.