Mystery William Hoffman Wild Thorn

ISBN 13: 9780061030956

Wild Thorn

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9780061030956: Wild Thorn

Charley LeBlanc left West Virginia under a dark cloud. An ex-soldier and ex-convict, the black sheep scion of a distinguished Southern family, his departure was cheered by a local law force glad to be rid of him. Now, when Charley returns to Shawnee County to see an elderly lady who'd befriended him while he was in trouble, he stumbles onto a murder, the prime suspect a wild woman named Esmeralda who lives in forests, caves, and abandoned houses. Charley shares a shocking connection with Esmeralda, and his attempts to save her by digging up secrets about the crime make powerful enemies of those who are threatened by the truth.

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About the Author:

William Hoffman is the author of twelve novels as well as four short-story collections. His writing has won numerous awards, including the Andrew Lytle Prize, the Goodheart Prize, the John Dos Passos Prize, and the Hillsdale Foundation Fiction Prize from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. His short stories have been featured in Best American Short Stories and Prize Stories 1996. The 0. Henry Awards. Tidewater Blood won the 1999 Hammett Award.

From Publishers Weekly:

Charley LeBlanc, the black sheep of a prominent family first introduced in Hoffman's Tidewater Blood, returns from Montana to his native Shawnee County in West Virginia for what he thinks will be a short visit. He is accompanied by his tough, sexy girlfriend, Blackie, whose hillbilly argot belies her extensive reading. When he calls on his old friend, the aging Aunt Jessie Arbuckle, he finds her isolated home crawling with police. She has been found dead under mysterious circumstances. A strange, wild-eyed woman named Esmeralda, about whose life Charley knows much more than he admits to the authorities, was spotted fleeing the scene. The police, who have captured Esmeralda and are holding her at a state mental facility with murder charges pending, are tight-lipped and unhelpful in the face of Charley's inquiries. Does Esmeralda have anything to do with a very rich family negotiating to buy Aunt Jessie's land in order to develop a resort? Charley has his hands full as he and Blackie try to protect the unfortunate Esmeralda while unraveling the murder mystery. Hoffman's strengths lie not so much in the mystery plot, which at times feels forced, but in creating a strong sense of place and well-defined characters. As usual, the veteran author of 12 novels and four short story collections writes dialogue crackling with understated humor, and his elegant, laconic style brings the panoply of Shawnee County personalities to life.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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