Cheri Reviews The Devil’s Country by Harry Hunsicker

I’m back with another review of a book I received from NetGalley over a year ago. I know you’re shocked and probably also wondering how many more books are on the backlog. Lots. The answer is lots. Lucky us! We get to be on this journey together to clear the queue.

I had never heard of Harry Hunsicker but he’s been writing and winning awards for a good long time. Something about the book description called out to me on that particular day when I was cruising NetGalley and I’m glad it did. Speaking of the description, here it is:

Former Texas Ranger Arlo Baines didn’t come to the tiny West Texas town of Piedra Springs to cause trouble. After his wife and children were murdered, Arlo just wants to be left alone. Moving from place to place seems to be the only thing that eases the pain of his family’s violent end.

But a chance encounter outside a bar forces him to rescue a terrified woman and her children from mysterious attackers. When the woman turns up murdered the next day—her children missing—Arlo becomes the primary suspect in exactly the same type of crime he is trying desperately to forget.

Haunted by the fate of his family, and with the police questioning the existence of the dead woman’s children, Arlo decides it’s his duty to find them. The question is, just how deep will he have to sink into the dusty secrets of Piedra Springs to save them and clear his name?

I won’t give away anything about the plot because the biggest part of the book isn’t listed in the blurb. What I will say is that Mr. Hunsicker has a very engaging style of writing and tells a hell of a good tale. He does two things that will either work really well or ruin a reader’s enjoyment: first person point of view and flashbacks. I thought the POV was done perfectly. Arlo isn’t a totally unique style of character – emotionally damaged loner who finds himself in bad situations because he wants to help people – but he conveys the story in a way that rings true and sticks to his one thoughts and experiences. The flashbacks were well done but I still found myself groaning a few times as I was ripped from the current time to find out more about how and why Arlo’s family was murdered. Not that I didn’t care about what happened, I just wished it had been done differently. But that’s just me.

If there’s another Arlo Baines book on the horizon, I’d definitely read it.

Thank you to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for introducing me to another author to add to my “go-to” list.

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