Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Astride a Pink Horse by Robert Greer

The Cold War ended years ago, or did it? For Thurmond Giles, a decorated African American Air Force veteran found naked, dead, and dangling by his ankles inside a deactivated minuteman missile silo in desolate southeastern Wyoming, the answer is no. The labyrinthine investigation that follows his death-led by former fighter pilot Major Bernadette Cameron and ex-college baseball phenom-turned-reporter Elgin "Cozy" Coseia-reveals how the atomic era's legacy has continued to destroy both minds and lives.

Bernadette, Cozy, and Cozy's boss, Freddie Dames, match wits with a gallery of unforgettable murder suspects: a powerful, right-wing-leaning cattle rancher; a declining seventy-six-year-old WWII-era Japanese internment camp victim and her unstable math professor cousin; an idealistic lifelong nuclear arms protestor; and a civilian Air Force contractor with a twenty-year grudge against the murder victim. do three amateur detectives stand a chance against these characters and the conspiracy that may be behind it all?

I'm not fond of books that are filled with politics, military or history. I picked this book up, hoping at the very best for a story that I could force myself to read without hating too much. I love mysteries, but expected the vast amounts of politics, military strategy and history to leave me with a bitter taste in my mouth. I was wrong. I may have actually even learned something! Although all three are a major theme in the book, none of them overshadows the other or the story.

The characters are entertaining as well as intriguing. Most of them are so far-fetched that you get a sense they can't possibly be fiction. Although there were only a few moments of laughter for me, I was completely caught up in trying to figure out, not only who killed Giles, but also what on earth was going to happen next.

Just when you think you've finished the book, you still have a few chapters left. It takes a little while to actually tie everything up with a neat little ribbon, but I'm thankful for those last few chapters. It leads us into the possibility of a series starring Cameron and Cozy. That's a series I don't want to miss!

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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