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The latest from Jack Martin, this was a literal page turner. I pulled it from my mail box Monday morning and finished it in one setting. I was easily pulled into these characters’ lives, always a good thing.

Delta Rose has come home after twenty years of wandering. He hadn’t meant to be gone that long, taking off to look for the big strike that would help Etta James and him on their new ranch. The strike was always around the corner and the years had piled up on him.

He’s come home to die. A bullet lodged near his heart, much to close for an operation, has begun to affect him, will in fact eventually kill him. He suffers occasional bouts of paralysis and knows it’s a matter of a short while. He wants to say goodbye.

Delta learns soon after arriving that he has a son he never knew of, Etta learning of it the day he took off without notice. And that son is in trouble, hunted for a murder he didn’t do and a robbery he did. Delta charges himself with clearing his son of the murder charge and helping him deal with the robbery before it’s too late. The murderer wants him dead and the Sheriff, a good man, wants the boy to face up to the consequences of what he’s done.

Martin sets it all up nicely and throws in a twist at the end, ends it in a manner I didn’t see coming.

Recommended.

A last couple of things that brought a smile to this old face. He mentions his previous novel, Arkansas Smith, as the hero of a dime novel by that writer of purple prose, G. M. Dobbs. The other was the name of the lady. One can’t help but think it came from the blues singer Etta James and I smiled because I saw the woman live when her band opened for the Stones in the late seventies.

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