Author: Claire Booth
Series: Sheriff Hank Worth #2
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: July 2017
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Roman
Sheriff Hank Worth and his friends and family, along with some new characters, are back in Another Man’s Ground. Just as Hank is in the midst of his campaign to be elected Sheriff, he is called to what seems to be a simple, and almost silly, theft case. Vern Miles has called Hank because all of the bark has been stripped off his slippery elm trees, and he has been selling the bark to herbalists for its medicinal properties. Since Vern has inherited the old family homestead, he has been selling the bark to pay the property taxes until he can decide what to do with the property itself. However, as Hank walks the property to investigate, he comes across someone stuck in a crevice. It turns out to be an illegal immigrant worker, but additionally, the worker has fallen onto a body. The forensics tell Hank that the person died at someone else’s hand, so now he has a homicide to contend with. Using his wits and relying on his faithful team to help him solve the crime, Hank gets more than he bargained for when family secrets come out and a local family dynasty falls.
This is the second in the Hank Worth series, and I have read both. I really enjoyed the first one for its setting in Branson, MO, not the most typical location for a book. The scenery and characters speak to me and to many readers because they are regular people. Hank refuses to be bought and just wants to do his job and spend time with his family. This second book, I must say, is even better than the first. The characters are developed more, and are given more opportunities to shine. The setting this time is summer in a woods, which gives a lot more possibility to crime and excitement. Having a “good old boy” selling to natural medicine companies is unusual, but that makes the story all the more fun. Throw in generations of a family that is so feared in the county that nobody will challenge them, let alone investigate them for a crime, and you have the makings of a great read. As mentioned before, the book is the second of a series, but each could be read alone and appreciated with ease. My hope is that there will be at least a book three, if not more. It is refreshing to read a book in which the main character is witty but not out to be a hero and cannot be bought by local politicians.
I highly recommend this book for people who enjoy a good mystery, whether murder or otherwise. This book has a lot of action and excitement, and even a few twists that keep it interesting until the very last page. There is some strong profanity that may be offensive to some readers, but it is used sparingly and not unnecessarily. Otherwise, the story is a great read for mature teens and up.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.