Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Wild Hog Murders-Bill Crider

The Wild Hog Murders
Bill Crider
Minotaur, Jul 5 2011, $24.99
ISBN: 9780312641498

The state of Texas struggles to control a regional form of swine flu as wild hogs run rampart destroying farms and much more. Mother and son Janice and Andy Chandler open up an animal shelter in Blacklin County where they welcome even hogs, which upsets their neighbors; one so much so the person leaves behind a slaughtered animal “Babe” on their steps.

Someone fails to pay for gas at a convenience store. Blacklin County Sheriff Dan Rhodes and Deputy Ruth Grady search in the woods for the culprit, but instead find a corpse. As the sheriff investigates the body, talk-show host Milton Munday wants Rhodes skinned alive, the anti hog vigilante mob wants his hide and bounty hunter Hoss Rapinski follows his every step. Meanwhile county commissioners blames the stoic sheriff for the hog problem while his wife puts him on a green diet and the most incompetent performing gang (Rapper and Nellie) has come back to cause trouble.

The latest Blacklin County police procedural (see Murder in the Air) is an excellent tale as Rhodes is at his clam witty best. The investigation is superb while the politicians play loose with the facts. Fast-paced with satire, slapstick and subtle humor throughout, fans will enjoy this jocular intelligent murder mystery as Texans are going wild over being hogtied.

Harriet Klausner

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