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Booted out of law school, young Okie Dunn returns home to the warm prairie town of Vernon with high hopes for the future. He finds, though, that the friendly world he left behind is falling apart--and not just because of the Great Depression.When his childhood friend, Sheriff Dub Ready, is killed, Okie takes over the job, swearing to bring the killer to justice. But just who wanted Dub dead and why? And was his murder linked to the mysterious, brutal deaths of his parents two years before?Despite his best intentions, Okie discovers that upholding the law and finding the truth can be difficult, dangerous business, one that will pit him against lifelong friends, business associates, a cold-blooded killer...and even his own heart.
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Fred R. Harris is a former two-term senator from Oklahoma and the author of ten non-fiction books.He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is a professor at the University of New Mexico.From Publishers Weekly:
The small town of Vernon, Okla., proves an evocative setting for the debut mystery written by a former U.S. senator from Oklahoma. In 1937, 26-year-old Okie Dunn returns to Vernon after a stormy stint in law school with his dreams of making it big dashed. Okie trades cattle for a spell, until his boyhood pal, Sheriff Dub Ready, dies in a hunting accident. Dub never was exactly an honest guy, but Okie always retained an affection for him and for Dub's sister, Juanita, who's still around and still single. After he's hastily appointed Dub's successor, Okie is disturbed to find a match between the bullets that killed Dub and those that killed Dub's parents years earlier in an apparent double suicide. The deaths take on an even more suspicious cast when Okie learns that Dub had been trying to buy land from the local Indians, land rumored to be rich in oil. What the 26-year-old Okie lacks in worldliness he makes up for with his quick fists, which the former welterweight boxer has more than one occasion to use as he learns the less than idyllic truth about his small hometown. Although the novel's characters are slight and its period detailing occasionally too earnest, Harris displays a solid prose style. His dialect is particularly well wrought, and he delivers several effective scenes; Okie's dad, for example, succumbs to lung cancer in a suitably somber section. Such well-wrought moments suggest readers can look forward to even better mysteries from Harris in the future. Agent, David Stewart Hull.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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