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Sorrow Wood

By Raymond L. Atkins

Reva Blackmon is a reluctant probate judge in the small town of Sand Valley, Alabama. She lives in a rock castle with turrets and a moat thanks to Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal and walks on one leg thanks to a drunken railroad engineer on the Southern Pacific. She sings Wednesdays and Sundays in the choir at the Methodist Church and believes in reincarnation the rest of the time. Her husband, Wendell, is the love of her life, stretching back down the corridors of time.

Wendell Blackmon is the disgruntled policeman in this same small town. He rides herd on an unlikely collection of reprobates, rogues with names such as Deadhand Riley, Gilla Newman, Otter Price, and Blossom Hogan. Law enforcement in this venue consists of breaking up dog fights, investigating alien abductions, extinguishing truck fires, and spending endless hours riding the roads of Sand Valley. Unlike his wife, Wendell does not believe in reincarnation. Nor does he believe in Methodism, Buddhism, or Santa Claus. But he does believe in Reva, and that belief has been sufficient to his needs over their many years together.

But the routines of Sand Valley are about to change. A burned body has been discovered at a local farm named Sorrow Wood. The deceased is a promiscuous self-proclaimed witch with a checkered past. Wendell investigates the crime, and the list of suspects includes his deputy, the entire family of the richest man in town, and nearly everyone else who knew the departed. As the probe continues, a multitude of secrets are revealed, including one that reaches from the deep past all the way to the rock castle. Who was this woman who met her end at Sorrow Wood? Where did she come from? What were the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death, and what did her presence mean to Wendell, Reva, and the remainder of the inhabitants of Sand Valley?

Fiction
Hardcover
US $24.95 / CDN $27.95
ISBN# 9781934755631

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