Some people who have experienced a shocking, dangerous, or terrifying event develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is recognized today as a debilitating but potentially treatable mental health condition. Military veterans are a vulnerable group. But PTSD can deliver a knockout blow to anyone, as the remarkable unfolding of the tenth Alafair Tucker Mystery, Forty Dead Men, shows.
World War I is over. Alafair is overjoyed that her elder son, George Washington Tucker, has finally returned home from the battlefields of France. Yet she is the only one in the family who senses that he has somehow changed.
Gee Dub moves back into his old bunkhouse quarters, but he's restless and spends his days roaming. One rainy day while out riding he spies a woman trudging along the country road. She's thoroughly skittish and rejects his help. So Gee Dub cannily rides for home to enlist his mother in offering the exhausted traveler shelter.
Once made comfortable at the Tucker farm, Holly Johnson reveals she's forged her way from Maine to Oklahoma in hopes of finding the soldier she married before he shipped to France. At the war's end, Daniel Johnson disappeared without a trace. It's been months. Is he alive? Is she a widow?
Holly is following her only lead - that Dan has connected with his parents who live yonder in Okmulgee. Gee Dub, desperate for some kind of mission, resolves to shepherd Holly through her quest although the prickly young woman spurns any aid. Meanwhile, Alafair has discovered that Gee Dub sleeps with two cartridge boxes under his pillow - boxes containing twenty "dead men" each. The boxes are empty, save for one bullet. She recognizes in Gee Dub and Holly that not all war wounds are physical.
Then Holly's missing husband turns up, shot dead. Gee Dub is arrested on suspicion of murder, and the entire extended Tucker family rallies to his defense. He says he had no reason to do it, but the solitary bullet under Gee Dub's pillow is gone. Regardless, be he guilty or innocent, his mother will travel any distance and go to any lengths to keep him out of prison.
About the Author
Donis Casey is the author of ten Alafair Tucker Mysteries: The Old Buzzard Had It Coming, Hornswoggled, The Drop Edge of Yonder, The Sky Took Him, Crying Blood, The Wrong Hill to Die On, Hell With the Lid Blown Off, All Men Fear Me, The Return of the Raven Mocker, and Forty Dead Men. This award-winning series, featuring the sleuthing mother of ten children, is set in Oklahoma during the booming 1910s. Donis has twice won the Arizona Book Award for her series, and been a finalist for the Willa Award and a seven-time finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award. Her first novel, The Old Buzzard Had It Coming, was named an Oklahoma Centennial Book in 2008. Donis is a former teacher, academic librarian, and entrepreneur. She lives in Tempe, Arizona.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I found this book hard to put down. There's lots of books that take place during the wars, but few that examine the after effects on the Soldiers & their families after the war. There were alot of characters from the beginning, but the author didn't confuse. They were all written in a way that made me remember exactly whom everyone was. The very ending with boy meets girl and falls in love, ended differently than I expected. So, without ruining the plot or ending, I would recommend reading "40 Dead Men" & judge for yourself !
From the taste I got from the teaser I read I feel this will be a book worth owning and reading! I feel it will be very eeducational on PTSD!