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Forty Dead Men: 10 Hardcover – 6 February 2018
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Some people who have experienced a shocking, dangerous, or terrifying event develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is recognized today as a debilitating but potentially treatable mental health condition. Military veterans are a vulnerable group. But PTSD can deliver a knockout blow to anyone, as the remarkable unfolding of the tenth Alafair Tucker Mystery, Forty Dead Men, shows. World War I is over. Alafair is overjoyed that her elder son, George Washington Tucker, has finally returned home from the battlefields of France. Yet she is the only one in the family who senses that he has somehow changed. Gee Dub moves back into his old bunkhouse quarters, but he's restless and spends his days roaming. One rainy day while out riding he spies a woman trudging along the country road. She's thoroughly skittish and rejects his help. So Gee Dub cannily rides for home to enlist his mother in offering the exhausted traveler shelter. Once made comfortable at the Tucker farm, Holly Johnson reveals she's forged her way from Maine to Oklahoma in hopes of finding the soldier she married before he shipped to France. At the war's end, Daniel Johnson disappeared without a trace. It's been months. Is he alive? Is she a widow? Holly is following her only lead - that Dan has connected with his parents who live yonder in Okmulgee. Gee Dub, desperate for some kind of mission, resolves to shepherd Holly through her quest although the prickly young woman spurns any aid. Meanwhile, Alafair has discovered that Gee Dub sleeps with two cartridge boxes under his pillow - boxes containing twenty "dead men" each. The boxes are empty, save for one bullet. She recognizes in Gee Dub and Holly that not all war wounds are physical. Then Holly's missing husband turns up, shot dead. Gee Dub is arrested on suspicion of murder, and the entire extended Tucker family rallies to his defense. He says he had no reason to do it, but the solitary bullet under Gee Dub's pillow is gone. Regardless, be he guilty or innocent, his mother will travel any distance and go to any lengths to keep him out of prison.
"In Casey's excellent 10th Alafair Tucker mystery (after 2017's The Return of the Raven Mocker), 22-year-old George W. "Gee Dub" Tucker, a WWI vet scarred by his war experiences, returns to the family farm in Boynton, Okla., run by his parents, Alafair and Shaw, with the aid of their large brood of children....Casey expertly nails the extended Tucker family - some 20 people - and combines these convincing characters, a superb sense of time and place, and a solid plot in this marvelously atmospheric historical." (starred review)--Publishers Weekly
"This well-written mystery is the tenth in Donis Casey's Alafair Tucker series. Rich with historical detail, as befits her academic librarian background, Forty Dead Men leaves the reader one final twist at the end, along with Alafair's delightful country recipes."--Eileen Brady "Mystery Scene Magazine "
"A compassionate look at PTSD, this tenth series entry again showcases the savvy mother hen Alafair, who has a lot in common with Mette Ivie Harrison's Linda Wallheim, another loving western mother whose curiosity and common sense always come in handy."--Karen Keefe "Booklist "
About the Author
- Publisher : Poisoned Pen (6 February 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 206 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1464209375
- ISBN-13 : 978-1464209376
- Dimensions : 14.61 x 1.91 x 22.23 cm
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If you haven't started the series, that's okay. This book could stand alone, but give yourself a treat and start at the beginning and fall in love with the Tuckers.
Alafair would do anything for her children. In each book, she thinks to herself that she doesn't have a favorite, but if she did, it would be (whoever is the focus of the story). In this book, it's Gee Dub (George Washington Tucker), her oldest son. He helped a woman who was looking for her husband, and the husband ends up dead. Gee Dub is just back from the war (World War I) and he's not himself. But only Alafair sees that. The war may be over, but it followed Gee Dub home.
Seriously, just go read the book.