Tuesday, June 7, 2011

English Lessons-J.M. Hayes

English Lessons
J.M. Hayes
Poisoned Pen, Jul 5 2011, $24.95
ISBN 9781590589151

On Christmas day on the Sewa Reservation in Arizona, Tribal Police Officer Heather English patrols a remote area when she finds the skin of State governor-elect Joe Hyde nailed to a wooden wall. Attached to the cured corpse is a note stating she and her family will be executed implying that the gruesome murder is related to a drug war involving her half-Cheyenne uncle, Mad Dog; someone sends the shaman a holiday gift of a human hand.

At the same time in Benteen, Kansas, her dad Sheriff English breaks up a melee caused by fender benders in a church parking lot. A right wing militia becomes irate with his interference. Someone vandalizes the town's largest holiday yard display. The owner plans to kill those he holds culpable. His family gives his guns to Sheriff English to keep him out of trouble. However, the locals are upset with English for violating the Second Amendment.

The latest Mad Dog & Englishman mystery (see Server Down) is a powerful tale as the English family struggles with illogic and insanity in two states. The story line is takes no prisoners as J.M. Hayes skewers those in charge who pretend to take the moral high ground with no accountability or responsibility for their actions or words including Second Amendment support to sell guns to drug cartels on the border; the author further condemns lemmings who rejoice in the sound bites. All this biting satire is inside a strong suspense thriller as the law enforcement family learns their English Lessons.

Harriet Klausner

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