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By Mary Logue

Walker Publishing Company, (October, 1999) Hardcover, 256 pages. $24.95
ISBN 0-8027-3339-5

Reviewed by S. E. Warwick (12/99)

A thousand years ago, when I was a child, there was an obnoxious advertising jingle that said, "If it says Libby's, Libby's, Libby's on the label, label, label, you will like it on your table, table, table." I have the same feeling when I see "Walker" on the spine of a book.

The premise of BLOOD COUNTRY is familiar-- Claire Watkins, widowed big city detective, whose job caused the death of her beloved husband, flees with her only child to the safety of a small country town. She becomes a deputy sheriff and gladly trades the boredom of rural police work for safety.

Just as spring warmth begins to push sprouts of new life toward the sun, the sudden death of an elderly neighbor starts a chain reaction that lets tentacles of deceit invade the refuge that Claire thought impenetrable.

Claire is wise enough to let those she mistrusts underestimate her detective skills as she feels her way through a maze of suspicion and emerges with all of her personal demons conquered.

Logue paints her word images with a variety of brushes, changing style ever so slightly for each character. This gives the story a vitality that, combined with excellent pacing, moves the action toward its conclusion. The characters are sketched "warts and all." By the middle of the book, you think you may have met some of them.

Though billed as a police procedural, it has elements of cozy with just a hint of thriller. However you categorize BLOOD COUNTRY, it's a good, well-written novel, the only kind Walker publishes.

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