By Ron Franscell
Mystery / Amateur Sleuth
by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
In August of 1948, a drunken fisherman named Pic Sandefur found the body of a 9-year-old girl in the Black Thunder River. The little girl had been missing for ten days. Her name was Aimee. A mean drunk named Neely Gilmartin was arrested and convicted, but he did not do it.
In late July of 1996, Neely Gilmartin is released because he has only weeks to live. Before he dies he wants to clear his name. This is where the action begins. Gilmartin goes to the newspaper office, “The Bullet,” to talk to the new owner and editor Jeff Morgan. Morgan doesn’t know what he’ll do to help the dying man, he’s not even sure he believes Gilmartin. Trey Kerrigan who is an old school friend of Morgan's is also the sheriff. Morgan consults with him. Kerrigan is positive that the killer was caught 50 years ago and for Morgan to leave things alone. Morgan also gets threats from the bank officers who gave him the loan for the paper and the advertisers of the paper to leave the case alone. Morgan must struggle with himself and try to do the right thing even no one wants him to.
Mr. Franscell's second novel is a solid hit as far as I’m concerned. I felt as if I was actually there, watching it all come to life. Having lived in small towns, I could identify with what was happening as the story progressed. I really enjoyed reading it and being taken to the edge. THE DEADLINE is a well-plotted mystery, packed with twists, turns and a lot of surprises.
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