Monday, August 24, 2015
A Tree Born Crooked by Steph Post
James Hart has come home to Florida. Not the ritzy tourist areas of Florida, but rural Florida where nothing much goes on and farming is still the best way to make a living. It can't be said he is welcomed home with open arms. His mother didn't bother to call when his father died and he is arriving two weeks after the death. They didn't wait for him to have the funeral.
His little brother Rabbit has gotten mixed up with their good for nothing cousin Delmore. Delmore is finally out of the penitentiary and he has big plans for a big score. Rabbit, who was a high school athletic hero but has done nothing since is all for the big score. James tries to talk them out of the plan but he realizes he can do nothing.
He isn't surprised when Rabbit calls in a panic when things go wrong. Should he leave the two to their fate or try to save Rabbit from his stupidity? The local bartender has also gotten caught up in the problem, and James has an eye for the bartender's daughter. Together, James, Marlena and Rabbit take off on a road trip to try to salvage the situation. It's a quest with no heroic goal or plans, just an attempt to stay alive.
Steph Post has written a gritty noir novel that explores the Florida most people never see. She gets the frustration and resignation of those who scratch out a living and don't have much to dream about. The reader isn't sure whether they should be cheering for James and his family or turning away in disgust. Post focuses on the obligations family create, even when you know your family isn't that much to brag about and may even be actively sorry. This book is recommended for mystery/thriller readers.