Another great book I finished far too quickly! Crow's Landing by Brad Smith is the second book featuring Virgil Cain. I read the first book (my review) - Red Means Run - and was hooked.
Virgil is still working his farm, but decides to play hooky one day and head out fishing in the boat he restored over the winter. While pulling up anchor to come back in, he hauls in a strange steel cylinder. Back at the marina, he padlocks it to his boat and goes to the local diner for something to eat. And comes running back out when he sees some guy taking off with his trailer, boat - and the cylinder. When he protests, he gets a gun shoved in his face and told it's police business. Now, Virgil was curious about that cylinder, but damn it, he wants his boat back. So, he heads down to the police station. And is told that there hasn't been a boat impounded and they have no idea what he's talking about.
I thought we might see more of Claire Marchant this book - a local cop Virgil got involved with in the last book. But Smith introduces a new character - Dusty - a single mom with a checkered past - and more than a little knowledge about that cylinder. And when Virgil and Dusty cross paths...
"Since he was a kid, he had possessed a propensity for getting into trouble, some of it of his own accord and some of it purely by accident. Just last year, for instance he'd been arrested for murder, escaped jail, fell under suspicion for a second murder, and was finally shot in the earlobe by the woman responsible for both. If that couldn't be categorized as a propensity for getting into trouble, Virgil didn't know what could." Virgil's in it again.
Smith has created strong personalities that immediately spring to life. Virgil Cain is very laid back, thinks before he speaks and observes before he acts. But still waters run deep - there's a lot more to Virgil than meets the eye. He's been described as a 'laconic charmer' and I don't think I could say it any better. Smith has created just as strong a female character in Dusty - she's strong, fearless and tough. I hope we get to see her again too - or that Virgil does. With two such great protagonists, readers of both sexes will enjoy Crow's Landing.
I love the sly, quirky sense of humour Smith injects into his situations, characters and dialogue - along the lines of of Elmore Leonard.
This isn't really a traditional mystery book. What it is though, is a helluva good rollicking tale, populated by crooked cops, a crazed Cossack cowboy, a cool as a cucumber con.......and Virgil - 'cause really, he just wants his boat back.
Loved it! Read chapter one of Crow's Landing. Fans of Virgil Flowers and Jack Reacher would enjoy Brad Smith's writing. You can find Brad Smith on Facebook. Or watch this video of Brad talking about Crow's Landing.
Smith was born and raised in southern Ontario. He has worked as a farmer, signalman, insulator, truck driver, bartender, schoolteacher, maintenance mechanic, roofer, and carpenter. He lives in a eighty-year-old farmhouse near the north shore of Lake Erie. His novel, "One-Eyed Jacks" was nominated for the Dashiell Hammett Prize."his latest book.