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Barbed Wire by Elizabeth Fackler


I have been focussing on the James Patterson challenge but dint want to be bowed by monotony. So eventually I gave in and managed to get to some of the books that has been lying around for a while waiting to be noticed. Barbed Wire by Elizabeth Fackler is an exceptional book for a small read and has prompted me to go ahead and try a few more by the author.

Barbed wire is the second book from the author’s Frank James Series (The other one being Arson). The books starts with Frank James, a Texas reporter’s visit to a small town Holler in hope of meeting with his friend Arly. The two of them share a very unique relationship as bed partners and casual friends who are there if needed. Upon landing, James browses the newspaper only to be informed that Arly has committed suicide by hanging herself in a cottonwood grove. First shocked than angry, James knows that Arly would never take her own life… Not Arly. It had to be cold-blooded murder and it was now up to James to throw light on the events that led to her death (well murder!) The fact that he now had Baxter who lives in Arly’s place for comfort and solace is obviously an added help.

Pickles the crooked sheriff is convinced that this is nothing but suicide and he is determined to convince everyone else. As James digs dipper he realizes that Arly had been pregnant, had quite a few enemies because of her outlandish nature and there were many sleazy people in this small town who had reasons to harm her.

I loved the author’s writing style and the details that beautifully portrayed the lifestyle of a small town. However I wished the book had a more sensible ending instead of being so languid and weak. It did not help in any way that while most of James’s theories were right, a substantial part of it was way off-course. Just for the fine writing, the character portrayal and the attention to detail this would be a 3/5 (I am conveniently going to ignore the nagging feeling of giving it a 2). And no, I would not read Arson or any more planned books from the Frank James series.

What are you reading right now? Do drop in a note and let me know if there is a “do-not-miss” book I should read.


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