Sunday, June 26, 2011

As The Crow Dies-Jason Starr

As The Crow Dies
Jason Starr
Bell Bridge, May 10 2011, $14.95
ISBN: 9781611940084

He lost both legs in Vietnam and realized during his first visit home to Coyote Springs, Texas over the 1968 Memorial Day weekend, he would never be treated the same. His neighbors greet him with pity, guilt and avoidance except for his dad and his friend Zach Merchant. The doctors at the Air Force Medical Center in San Antonio decide Jason’s stumps are too short to use prosthesis. His dad Theodore insists he can walk though starting as quarterback for the Cowboys is no longer a reality.

After completing therapy at “Willy”, he clumsily walks on his newly fitted prostheses. Theodore’s partner George Elspeth tells Jason his dad is dead. Police Detective Clyde Burker, who Jason played football with in high school, states his father committed suicide. Though kick butting is no longer an activity Jason can do, he knows his dad did not kill himself as Theodore was his biggest cheerleader and would not desert him at this time. Jason’s religious mom and his sister Debbie struggle with the police ruling. Jason tells his twin Leon who ran from the draft; his brother rejects suicide based on a chat with their dad last week. As Jason looks into why his dad killed himself, a second death occurs.

Jason is a great character as his struggles to make it as a double amputee in a world built for the norm so it is filled with obstacles for him. The amateur sleuthing is clever as Jason does not suddenly become a superhero but instead a walking with a hitch hero adjusting while investigating. He and the support cast who pity and avoid him or truly marvel at his walking make for a powerful timely historical thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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