Top positive review
A murder to solve, and a good ol' boy network to navigate...
Reviewed in the United States on February 25, 2017
This book was a quick and pleasant read. The writing is straightforward and clear, with very few errors. Police Chief Sam Jenkins tells of his first week or so back on the job in a small Tennessee town, after having been retired for more than a decade, from New York. He is greeted on his first full day with a murder to solve, and a good ol’ boy network to navigate.
Sam is an honest cop, and a good man. I often felt like I was reading his highly detailed personal journal. The writing is tasteful -- as tasteful as talk of murder and certain vices can be. There’s no sensationalism, no great acts of heroism, no comic book villains, no pervasive seaminess. This was a nice change, from my usual reading.
Sounds bland, right? Well, not quite. Coming out of retirement to a job he didn’t really need, Sam had a certain style of humor and irreverence, and a low tolerance for scheming and politics.
The author does a nice job of presenting southern dialect: “If y’all would take ya seats… Before we git inta reg’lar bidness, I’d like ta introduce Sam Jenkins, our new po-leece chief…”
And, the author can turn a phrase. He refers to cops out to write traffic tickets: “... provide the public service that makes the public nervous.” A bar-room suspect: “In eighty-five degrees, Luttrell wore a plaid wool shirt with the sleeves cut off at the shoulder seams, beneath Liberty brand, denim overalls. His arms were big and tattooed. [He] smelled like his fashion choice might be more suited to a cooler climate.” Of a sting operation: “... the state cops played Buck like a hillbilly banjo.”
I recommend this book. As to a whole series of Sam Jenkins books -- maybe not… I may prefer this style of writing only for occasional palate cleansing.