30 July 2011

Review: SAGEBRUSH KILL, Ivan Brady

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 296 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Dark Raptor Press (July 19, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005DLKU4M
  • Source: copy supplied for review (Kindle) by Publisher
  • Excerpts: publisher's site

Product description (Amazon)

Out in the world, it's 1999. Ex-Marine Aaron McCaan is hired to research land claims in the Mojave. But the desert world is timeless. Cultures clash here as they always have. This time, though, a dead Indian walks out alive, and his appearance puts McCaan in the crosshairs.

My take:

Aaron McCaan wakes up in hospital puzzled about why someone has tried to kill him by shooting him when he was pulled up at traffic lights. He knows it must have something to do with the fact that he  found the body of an Indian at Biscuit Lake in the Mojave desert. Aaron is from Sacramento. He was trained as an anthropologist and is currently employed as a research specialist for California State Senator Larry Hughes, who has hired him to research possible land claims on Biscuit Lake. The fact that the dead Indian sported a Marine's tattoo also made the find interesting from the point of view of one of his own projects, a book about Indian veterans.

The dead Indian is well known to locals as Indian Bill, a Marine who served for three years, much of it as P.O.W. In Vietnam, and who came back determined to get back to his roots, and live the old life. So why would anybody want to murder him?

SAGEBRUSH KILL is a very readable short novel. I liked the character Aaron McCaan, the insight into the destruction of Indian tribal life, and the concept of "alien [cultural] life" that Bill had been forced into. I thought maybe the plot became a little too complex, forcing me to do a few mental gymnastics to get the stories all sorted in my head. I thought also the complexities, aimed at putting the novel's themes on a bigger stage, had forced the author to paint himself into a couple of corners from which he extracted himself with difficulty. Nevertheless it feels like a good start to a series and the ending certainly seems to promise that.

My rating: 3.8

SAGEBRUSH KILL is the first e-book available from re-launched Raptor Press and it is from a new-to-me author.

About the author

Ivan Brady is Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus and previous Chair of Anthropology at the State University of New York at Oswego. He is an avid outdoorsman and photographer. He grew up in and around the Mojave Desert, spent years among the Pacific Islanders and Native American tribes of the Southwest, and has authored dozens of scholarly works. His poetry has appeared in a wide variety of anthologies, magazines, and journals in several disciplines. Sagebrush Kill is his first novel but he is hard at work on the Aaron McCaan series, including the forthcoming sequel, Ritual Overkill.   For further information, please visit:   www.IvanBrady.com

1 comment:

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - Thanks for this. It certainly sounds like a very interesting premise for a novel. I'm very glad you enjoyed it.

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