By Terry Shames
Published in 2014 by Seventh Street Books.
Dead Broke
Reviewed by L.S. Miller.
What does a small town in Texas do when they’re so broke the last two full-time members of the police force say, that’s it, we quit. The mayor of Jarrett Creek, Texas, begs the retired former chief of police to please help, at least till the town can recover from a joint venture with the area’s richest man, that went so far south, the town may not ever be able to recover.
For Samuel Craddock the answer is, why not? He isn’t doing much else and he knows the town and all the players. But he didn’t sign on for a murder investigation, even for a murder that took place only hours before he officially took the job. Wouldn’t the County Sheriff take care of that?
But the murder appears to have everything to do with the insolvency of Jarrett Creek and the reasons why and who caused it to happen. The dead man is the local bank president’s son, a notorious womanizer, and the bank might be up to its hip pockets in the water park deal that drove the town to the brink.
Samuel Craddock is a big league investigator investigating the folks in a small town that has a big time crime. He’s perfect for the role. His always low-key approach works with almost all the suspects and there are a town full of them from the current mayor to the country western former star wife of the town’s big money man. Even Samuel’s female friends require surveillance.
This is a classic “whodunit?” plot and as well done as any I’ve read in a long time.
You will like the Texas setting, the story and the characters, and for damn sure the ending.
L. S. Miller is the author of the Pinnacle Award winning novel A Death in Our Family. Miller was raised in Pennsylvania and attended the University of Delaware but has roots in the Texas Hill Country where he now resides going back thirty plus years. Miller worked as a roofer, carpenter, architect and construction executive before retiring to the family ranch to write full-time. He has five other complete novels, the next, Nectar of the Gods, will be available through Amazon this summer. Miller is currently writing a satirical and humorous look at online dating.

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