Monday, April 29, 2013
Book Review: Resurrection Garden by Frank Scully
If you're looking for a superb historical murder mystery with a touch of romance, you'll find it in Resurrection Garden by Frank Scully.
Jake Turner is a lone drifter trying to escape a past that seems to catch up with him no matter where he goes. A veteran of the charge up San Juan Hill, he has earned a reputation that he can't shake.
It's 1904 in North Dakota and Jake is a part-time Deputy Sheriff. When he stumbles upon the frozen, brutally murdered body of Hjelmer “Thor” Thorsgaard, he sure doesn't get a lot of help from the townsfolk to figure out who might have wanted Thor dead. Seems everyone in Badger had a reason. The guy was a liar and a cheat who abused his family. Even his wife isn't sorry he's gone.
Jake feels the yearning to move on, especially when he becomes attached to Andy, an eight-year-old orphan boy, and begins to fall in love with his friend Issac's sister, Alice. When Andy is kidnapped and almost murdered, Jake is certain that whoever is behind Thor's death wants him out of the way, and they don't care who they have to hurt to make sure that happens.
He returns to Cuba, hoping to keep those he cares for out of danger. Though he knows he'll return to trap Thor's killer, Jake has no idea what will happen when all the dust settles.
In case you've somehow missed it, I'm a big fan of mysteries and I love historical fiction. That Resurrection Garden was able to blend two of my favorite genres into a well-written, intriguing novel, is a bonus over how much I truly enjoyed this book.
Resurrection Garden is Scully's debut novel, and the first book in his Decade Mystery series. Having read this book, I can barely wait until the next one is released in June.
In this riveting murder mystery, Scully has pulled together the wildness of the West, rich descriptions, a well-developed plot, and a menagerie of complex characters to come up with a winner. I expect this kind of writing from seasoned authors, so it is always a delight when a debut novel captivates me in this fashion. Simply put, I couldn't lay the book down. I stole every waking moment, and even moments when I should have been sleeping, to read this one. Just when I thought I had this one figured out, I discovered I was only partially right. I don't mind being fooled when such a satisfying ending is involved.
Guys shouldn't let the hint of romance turn them off this one. It's subtle and is crucial to Jake's development. As expected in a book set during this time period, there are plenty of bullets flying, and the situations Jake manages to get himself in can be a bit humorous.
Lovers of westerns, historical fiction, and murder mysteries will want to grab this one.
Title: Resurrection Garden
Author: Frank Scully
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
This post first appeared at The Book Connection.