An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock

samuel-craddockAuthor: Terry Shames

Series: Samuel Craddock #6

Publisher: 7th Street Books

Release Date: January 3, 2017

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A prequel to the series that shows how he got his start with a very disturbing case that will leave you guessing till the end.

In the small town of Jarrett Creek, a fire on the outskirts of town sends the fire department running. Once the blaze is out, it is discovered that the fire was set to cover up the murder of five young black people.  Samuel Craddock has just been appointed chief of police after finishing his time in the Air Force and finds himself on the outside of an investigation headed by the Texas Highway Patrol and a racist trooper, John Sutherland.  When an arrest is made in the murders, Craddock has a hard time believing the accused is guilty.  Truly Bennett, a young black man that has been working with Samuel is the last person he would expect involved in such a crime.  Sutherland dismisses all of Craddock’s claims that he has the wrong man saying he has evidence that points to Truly being guilty.  When Samuel refuses to accept Sutherlands findings he takes on his own investigation knowing it could put him and his family in danger.  He also knows if he doesn’t, he might not be able to look himself in the mirror knowing he let an innocent man go to prison.

This is set as a prequel to the Samuel Craddock series, of which I haven’t read any, but that didn’t seem to be a problem with my understanding of this story.  The story itself was good. You do have to keep in mind that this is not set in present day, even though a lot of it could be relevant to the here and now.  Samuel Craddock is trying to get himself established as police chief and before he can even get started he is almost run out of town with his first case.  The characters for the most part fit the story, a few name choices could have been changed to help ease understanding (Tilly/Truly, etc). I liked that the chapters were short and concise, along with the entire story. There was some language and themes that keep this from being recommended to a younger audience but is a good read for its intended targeted readers.  However, I can’t say that anything in particular stood out to me as being great or exceptional.  If you are looking for a quick read that does the investigation for you this is a great book to go with.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

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