Sunday, October 14, 2007

Downwind -- Bob McKnight

A good while ago, Richard Moore was kind enough to send me a copy of this book that had been in Harry Whittington's personal library. It was signed by McKnight, who thanked Whittington for his "guidance." I've had another copy of the book for many years, but I've only now gotten around to reading it.

The story's a familiar one. Bert Brodie gets a call that his brother, Dave, is in trouble. The call is from Dave's wife, with whom Bert had once been in love. Naturally Bert flies to Santa Fe to help out. He's too late because Dave has been murdered. Almost at once, Bert is suspected of the murder. The sheriff and his nutty deputy are clearly in league with the bad guys. The whole town turns against Bert, who becomes a fugitive while trying to figure out who killed Dave. The reader will have known from about page one.)

Anybody reads that brief plot summary (not counting the final sentence) and who's read Harry Whittington will spot the Whittington influence. But the book's not nearly as well done as one of Whittington's; the spark is lacking. Still McKnight throws in a nice twist, and the book's well paced. It's also very unPC. People were so benighted in 1957. It's kind of fun, but I can't really recommend it other than as a curiosity.

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