Bones of the Rain
Five Star, Jun 16 2010, $25.95
Austin private eye Travis Treegrow is a "Blue-Eyed Indian" half-breed. His DNA means nothing to country music rising star Johnny Gringo, who hires him to investigate the murder of singer Trish Mirandez at the Kasperville Folk Festival in the Texas Hill Country.
However, Kasperville is not as warm welcoming the “Injun” starting with sheriff's deputy Alvin Turnbull who beats the crap out of Trav. Suspended for his extra curricular activity, Alvin blames that “Injun” for his leave without pay. He follows Trav back to Austin to make him pay. Gringo and his music friends ask Trav to help them prevent licentious Bent Lenny Coggins from cheating them out of their royalties. If he knew Lenny’s backers are mob related militia, Trav would have refused the case. Two attempted murders lead Trav to wonder if the Mirandez killer is actively seeking female musicians while Texas State Senator Max Bolens hires him to discretely look into his daughter's militia ties. All his cases lead him to Sheriff’s Deputy Cassie Winnick who is working some of the same inquiries.
Bones of the Rain is an entertaining regional private investigative tale. Trav is a fabulous lead who like the reader will feel at times overwhelmed with so much happening. Still, the story line is loaded and brings a sense of how vast and diverse the Lone Star State is as readers will observe the differences between the capital and Hill Country. Russ Hall has a strong opening act that should prove more than just a one hit wonder.