Cole Clayfield is called a throwback by those who know him. A Kentucky mountain man lost in modern times, he's happiest alone in his isolated cabin or hunting with his dogs. Then his beloved granddaughter Shelby is kidnapped at gunpoint by a sociopath named Darnell, shocking Clayfield's tracking instincts into action. Desperate to get his granddaughter back alive, Clayfield sets out to do what he does best--hunt down an animal.
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Two mountain men pursue each other through backwoods Kentucky in a bloody tale of violence and revenge. Strunk's third novel returns to rustic Stanton County. But, instead of the 1930s Depression-era setting of his earlier work (Jordon's Showdown, 1993, etc.), this one is set in the gaudy present and features a smarmy psychokiller hillbilly named Darnell Pittmore, his ditsy girlfriend Hayley, and his inbred weirdo relatives Wormy and Shank, who help him kidnap Shelby Stockton, granddaughter of wealthy patrician lawyer G.D. Stockton, and hold her for a million-dollar ransom. Of course, the only man who can stop Pittmore is Shelby's other grandfather, Cole Clayfield--a kindly, college-educated mountain man who makes furniture in his spare time, communes with his dogs, and is tough enough to drink the blood of a freshly killed raccoon, soft enough to quote The Rub iy t, weak enough to remain haunted by his wife's tragic hit- and-run death, and man enough to hunt Pittmore down to his trashy boondocks lair. Such a task is more easily imagined than accomplished: In the novel's best scene, Clayfield, wounded and left for dead by Pittmore, hacks off a mangled finger and uses it to snare a gullible raccoon, which he then skillfully butchers, roasts, and devours, thus surviving until help arrives. Mostly, though, the story meanders downhill; on the one hand, Clayfield blunders badly in unlikely ways; on the other, he miraculously persuades Pittmore to give him back his arsenal of guns and his trusty pickup truck so that he can fetch the ransom money from G.D. Stockton. You don't have to be mountain-born to realize that such concessions make it considerably easier for your sworn enemy to kill you. Strunk tries to balance his macho violence with lessons on family values and homespun wisdom, but plot weaknesses make Clayfield's sensitive homilies hard to buy. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
The cliche that when city slickers and backwoods yokels clash the yokels always win is older than Li'l Abner. Still, Strunk (Jordon's Wager) manages to reinvigorate them in this tightly focused crime thriller. Cole Clayfield, a modern Kentucky mountain man, has been feeling suicidal since the death of his wife. When his granddaughter Shelby is kidnapped by escaping convict Darnell Pittmore and Pittmore's girlfriend, Clayfield finds more than enough reason to live. He dedicates himself to tracking down the pair and getting Shelby back, stubbornly going off on his own without help from the local cops. Equally stubborn in his own way is Shelby's other grandfather, G.D. Stockton, who thinks that money, political influence and a hired specialist will win his grandchild back; he's willing to offer a million dollars if Shelby is returned unharmed. Strunk knows how to tell a story?his treatment of the grit and courage of a wounded Clayfield is particularly nervy?so readers might not dwell too long on why the FBI doesn't get involved in the case, when word of the kidnapping and the offered ransom is "all over the news." Even with a plot hitch like that, this is one smooth story, as clean and swift as the cleave of a Bowie knife through mountain air.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800610105831.0
Book Description Harpercollins (Mm), 1997. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110061010588
Book Description Harpercollins (Mm). MASS MARKET PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0061010588 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.1022409