Saturday, December 26, 2009

DAMNATION FALLS -- Edward Wright

I've written before about Edward Wright's novels (see here, here, and here) in the fine series about John Roy Horn, a disgrace '40s B-movie actor turned investigator. Damnation Falls is a standalone (so far, at any rate) about another disgraced man, Randall Wilkes, formerly a columnist for a Chicago newspaper.

When he's asked to write a biography of his friend Sonny McMahan, former governor of Tennessee, Wilkes returns to their hometown of Pilgrim's Rest, and the next thing he knows, McMahan's mother is murdered. But not before she gives Wilkes a cryptic message. Then McMahan's footloose father, who's supposed to be dead, turns up alive, and there's another murder. How do the killings fit in with McMahan's plans to build a big Civil War study center and museum in Pilgrim's Rest? And where does Wilkes's father, a Civil War historian come into it? Wilkes reporter's instincts kick in, and he finds himself the target of a killer as he pries into things and digs into the past of the town and some of its citizens.

A complex plot, good writing and smooth first-person narration made me glad I picked this one up. Check it out.

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