Hoffman, William Blood and Guile

ISBN 13: 9780060197940

Blood and Guile

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9780060197940: Blood and Guile

From the award-winning author
of Tidewater Blood comes a story of
lifelong friendships, valor, and betrayal
that unfolds with deadly calm.

It begins on a hunting trip in the mountains of West Virginia. Walter, Drake, and Cliff have known one another for a lifetime. Blood brothers who have gone their separate ways over the years, they have gathered together again for a weekend of conviviality and the chance to shoot ruffed grouse.

During the first morning in the woods, they are confronted with a tragedy. The fourth member of the hunting group--an invited newcomer--is shot and killed by Cliff.

This seemingly accidental death is a problem for the local sheriff, and Cliff is called back to the mountains. His story doesn't fit the facts. Determined to help him, and standing in as Cliff's lawyer, Walter finds himself drawn into the investigation, even as he struggles to comprehend the changes in his friends.

As the authorities build their case, Walter can no longer deny that all is not what it seems, and his trust in his friends slowly erodes. They have secrets they will not share-secrets that will ultimately tear their friendships apart and set them on a course to disaster. Evocative and suspenseful, Blood and Guile builds with a subtle force to expose the deepest desires buried in the hearts of men.

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Review:

Four men, three of them friends since childhood, go grouse hunting on Blind Sheep Mountain on a clear, cold winter afternoon. Only three come back alive. Was the shooting death of the stranger among them an accident or was it murder? That's the setup for William Hoffman's novel of family secrets, male rivalry, and the bitter under taste of adult friendship. Unfortunately Hoffman chooses as his central character the least interesting of the men, a phlegmatic, underachieving lawyer named Walter Frampton. Frampton's affection for Drake Wingo and Cliff Dickens is severely tested when Wendell Ripley, described as a casual business acquaintance of Drake's, is shot and killed by Cliff. But it's Drake who interests the reader. An avid sportsman, successful entrepreneur, and devoted family man, his personal philosophy, expressed in his aptly titled pamphlet "The Way of the Grouse," hints at his darker side, which Hoffman unfortunately never develops clearly enough to make the book's predictable denouement fully understandable. And Wendell, whose affiliation with the Watchers, a Virginia religious cult, may hold the secret to his death as well as his life, remains equally shadowy even when his motives for joining the hunt and befriending Drake are ultimately revealed. Blood and Guile is slow- moving, lacking dramatic tension despite a promising plot. Hoffman, the prizewinning author of Tidewater Blood, has a deep affection for his landscape and obvious skill at limning it, but that's not quite enough to keep the reader slogging through. --Jane Adams

About the Author:

William Hoffman is the author of twelve novels as well as four short-story collections. His writing has won numerous awards, including the Andrew Lytle Prize, the Goodheart Prize, the John Dos Passos Prize, and the Hillsdale Foundation Fiction Prize from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. His short stories have been featured in Best American Short Stories and Prize Stories 1996. The 0. Henry Awards. Tidewater Blood won the 1999 Hammett Award.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY, U.S.A., 2000. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. 1st Ed. so stated, 1st Printing, number row 10-1, HB/DJ, brand new, 239 pp. Author is winner of the Hammett Award. Blood brothers who have gone their separate ways over the years, they have gathered together again for a weekend of conviviality and the chance to shoot ruffed grouse. During the first morning in the woods, they are confronted with a tragedy. The fourth member of the hunting group, an invited newcomer, is shot and killed by Cliff. This seemingly accidental death is a problem for the local sheriff. Bookseller Inventory # 9053

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