Tuesday, September 09, 2008

No politics today.

Today I'm passing on the ever inspirational political scene to pay my respects to my drinking buddy, Dusty Rhoades. This is his new book, Breaking Cover, a stand alone from his Jack Keller series but very much another chapter in his continuing redneck noir oeuvre.

A lot of other writers have already weighed in, and I don't want to cover well-worn ground, but Dusty does a couple of things in here that deserve some attention. One is the creation of a protagonist name Tony Wolf and yet, in my opinion, it's not really Tony who is central to the plot. That strong moral center belongs to Deputy Buckthorn, a small town cop who finds himself in the middle of a war between a rogue FBI agent, homicidal bikers with a sadistic streak as wide as Pamlico Sound, a treacherous mole within the bureau and a violent world fueled by meth, testosterone and cordite.

I say it's Buckthorn's story, even though Wolf is the near superhuman ass kicker, because Buckthorn is just an average guy who is asked to step up and do what has to be done, and I find that more compelling. But maybe that's just me.

Dusty also does a few interesting things like switching time and POV in the second part of the novel, but I think if we get back to Pine Lake again, it will be Buckthorn who takes us there.

But I could be wrong.

You can hear Dusty on The State of Things, a radio interview program out of WUNC. You can listen to it here.

8 comments:

Charlie Stella said...

From my amazon review of this book:

This is a very hard to put down read ... easily one of the best books I've read this year. A guy who has to do the right thing (because it's his nature to do so), does it and unleashes the demons of his past (to include a nasty biker crew out to kill him, a beautiful loving wife he's left behind and a federal bureau of investigation that thought him dead ... but there's a hostage involved and an agent on the take. The Protagonist (two names so I won't confuse here), has the kind of gravitas that is as endearing as it is convincing. Breaking Cover immediately engages and you'll want to keep going (sorry, no spoilers if you're looking for one) ... the cast of characters are diverse and interesting and the fast pace between the subplots makes for a very thrilling ride. I started it very early in the morning (this morning at the gym) and except for showering/dressing/driving for (and to) work, didn't put it down again until I had to (at work--although I finished it there--what long bathroom breaks are really for). Breaking Cover is my very first J.D. Rhoades novel ... it won't be my last.

Knucks says: Ignore "some" of his politics ... but read his books.

David Terrenoire said...

Thabks, Charlie, for that. Nicely said. I don't do reviews, but I do appreciations and I'll always have something good to say about Dusty's work.

Anonymous said...

I am woefully behind in my reading due to my crazy trying to get ready move summer schedule but my dad borrowed this book recently and gave it an big thumbs up...

norby said...

Oops, that last comment is from me.

Been in the car for twelve hours.

Beneath the Carolina Moon said...

I'm needing Christmas presents. I figure maybe something like this book for my relatives and maybe the confederate flag bikini poster for my in-laws? I may actually have to read this book.

JD Rhoades said...

David: thank you so much for that. And yeah, Buckthorn started as a walk-on, then took on a life of his own. I'm definitely looking for ways to tell more of his story.

JD Rhoades said...

P.S. : writing the cops that work for him was fun, too.

David Terrenoire said...

I love when characters elbow their way into a story.

I enjoyed your interview. Very entertaining, as usual. Did you have a rum and coke at your elbow?