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Mystery Review    

 

 

Crimson Creek
By Dean Feldmeyer
Silver Dagger Mysteries, 2001
ISBN: 1-57072-177-7

 

 
 

 

Edgar-nominated author Dean Feldmeyer returns to Baird, Kentucky for the fourth book in his “Dan Thompson” mysteries.  When the farm accident death of the leader of a local cult turns into murder, Constable Ray Hall enlists the aid of Methodist minister Dan Thompson, whose skills of observation include the ability to detect lying by the speaker’s eyes. 

Jonah Haycatcher was plowing a field when it appears that he had a heart attack, fell from the tractor, then it plowed over his body.  But the coroner found a bullet hole in the back of his skull.  The question becomes who would want the cult leader dead?

The Children of the Lamb, founded by Reverend Jonah Haycatcher, sees Washington, D. C. as the enemy and center of evil.  Most of the members are wanderers looking for a spiritual guide, and Jonah Haycatcher fills that need with his commune of free sex and farming. 

Several subplots provide a twisted trail that lead to the murderer.  Did the joyriding teenagers shooting road signs accidentally hit Haycatcher?  Could the biker drug gang have murdered him?  Or was Haycatcher murdered in a cult power play?  Each plays a part in the solution, but the end will surprise you, even though it was there all the time.

Small community and mountain humor abound in Crimson Creek.  Rev. Thompson is trying to house train a hunting puppy born to a famous bloodline.  Constable Hall, the good old boy lawman, provides many light moments dealing with locals, the arrogant DEA agent, and bantering with his wife May June.

Dan Thompson moved to the tiny community in the Kentucky coal fields when the Methodist hierarchy put him on probation from his large Ohio church after an indiscreet affair with a parishioner.  However, the move seems to fit him well.  He is having a hot affair with Naomi Haines, who won’t marry him as long as she cares for her invalid father.  The church board meeting members are eager to work for the church instead of find ways out of their duties. 

Crimson Creek will keep you laughing with small town delight and your nerves on edge as Dan and Ray come face to face with the murderer.

Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews

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