It began with â€œThe Cat Dancersâ€ and now in this fourth book, Cam Richter needs a break. â€œHide and Seek Investigationsâ€ is doing well and the events of â€œThe Moonpoolâ€ case are finally beginning to fade somewhat. Cam is tired of living in Triboro and tired of the tedium of the usual cases the company has going. Â Unlike Sharon McCone in â€œBurn Outâ€ (written by Marcia Muller) he isnâ€™t depressed or anything like that. Cam Richter has always done best when he has had a challenge and these days he needs a new challenge and a change of scenery.
He may have found both with his purchase of â€œGloryâ€™s End.â€ A sprawling antebellum plantation of 700 acres located on the banks of the Dan River in North Carolina that also happens to be home to a Civil War massacre. History that hasnâ€™t ever changed for some of his neighbors and is just as powerful today as then. Their ways are very strange to Cam and he has to adjust to their expectations as well as changing a few of his own.
Cam has another problem that takes a higher priority over the home renovation project. Renovation of the plantation home could take years. He wonâ€™t have that time if ex-con Billie Ray Breen follows through on his often made threats to get even. Billie Ray Breen unfortunately survived the shoot out with Cam years ago and the nasty piece of work is getting early release from prison.
Before long, â€œGloryâ€™s Endâ€ becomes the site of a psychological and occasional shooting war as Cam deals with the past in more ways than one. Vendettas are an age old theme of the human race and its literature and that idea is worked well here.
This fourth in the series sheds little new light on the Cam Richter character or for that matter any of his team from â€œHide and Seek Investigations.â€ Instead, much like what James Lee Burke often does in his Dave Robicheaux novels, the primary focus is on the past. The past becomes a character in its own right and that certainly is true here. Â â€œGloryâ€™s Endâ€ officially established in 1838 has had a long and storied history as has the surrounding North Carolina and Virginia countryside. There is literally blood in the land and the land still draws blood in this modern age. Deutermann brings that Civil War past to life and pays homage to it while at the same time not celebrating the heinous aspects of it.
Along the way, he populates the book with a complex mystery that is obvious only in a couple of spots, plenty of action and intrigue, along with fully formed realistic characters engaged in their lives. The result is another very good book in a series that one hopes is not ending but branching off into a new direction for Cam and his dogs.
Nightwalkers: A Novel
P. T. Deutermann
St. Martinâ€™s Press
Â Â Â
Review copy provided by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Library System.
Kevin R. Tipple Â© 2009
In addition to having been the editor or assistant editor of several different zines, my book reviews appear extensively online and I am the book reviewer for the Texas edition of the newspaper “Senior News.” My short fiction has appeared in magazines such as â€œLynx Eye,â€ â€œStarblade,â€ â€œShow and Tell,â€ and “The Writer’s Post Journal” among others and online at such places as “Mouth Full Of Bullets,” “Crime And Suspense,” “Mysterical-e” and others. My story “By The Light Of The Moon” is in the antholgy “The Carpathian Shadows-Volume 2″ available through me, Amazon, Fictionwise, Booksforabuck.com and other sales channels. Â