The highly-anticipated third novel in Kris Lackey's acclaimed, USA Today bestselling Bill Maytubby and Hannah Bond Mysteries series.
On Oklahoma’s Big Rock Prairie, a deaf boy finds a body in Pennington Creek. Johnston County Deputy Hannah Bond and Chickasaw Lighthorse Police Sergeant Bill Maytubby find a crime scene where nothing seems to fit—from the dead angler’s oversize waders to the kind of fish in his creel. They scour the creekside brush, then hit the road for Texas in a widening search for the killer.
On the Big Rock, a towering bearded man is building a limestone replica of Roman Jerusalem for a Christian passion play. His cronies, who are in league with an interstate fraud ring, want the boy to disappear now.
Flying an ancient rented Cessna, Maytubby takes fire from a suspect he is tailing, while Bond combs river trails for traces of the killer.
While Maytubby and Bond try to protect the deaf boy and his mother from the crime ring, an improbable ally materializes from the prairie oak thickets, wielding a monstrous shotgun.
A Note From the Publisher
“An impeccably written tale laced with humor and featuring unorthodox, believable detectives.”
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Lackey has penned another fast-paced mystery with the unlikely but highly capable law-enforcement duo of Chickasaw Lighthorseman Bill Maytubby and Deputy Hannah Bond. The author’s brilliant descriptions bring details alive, picking up the reader and depositing them squarely in the middle of Oklahoma Indian Country. Go along for an adventurous and dangerous ride. You’ll be glad you did. You won’t want to put this book down until you’ve turned the last page, and then you’ll want more.”
-Sara Sue Hoklotubbe, author of the award-winning Sadie Walela mystery series
PRAISE FOR THE SERIES
“You’re going to want more of tribal Lighthorse policeman Bill Maytubby and Deputy Hannah Bond.”
—Craig Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of the Longmire series, on Nail’s Crossing
“Lackey’s excellent sequel to 2017’s Nail’s Crossing charts the investigations of two different but equally able cops…They are convincingly thorough, and the two of them—along with Bill’s lover, Jill Milton—are likable, formidable characters. This one’s definitely a keeper.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review), on Greasy Bend
“There’s plenty of action…Plus, there’s an abundance of good writing…The best news of all is that Maytubby is as wacky as ever, chomping health food while he tracks the killers. This series is a sleeper, well deserving of a larger readership.”
-Booklist, on Greasy Bend
“An excellent action-filled mystery with wonderful characters and a well-depicted setting.”
-Carol Crigger, Roundup Magazine, on Greasy Bend
“Lackey’s deft delivery of dialect—his excellent ear for a smartly turned phrase—perfectly captures the cadence and intricate simplicity of authentic speech. Greasy Bend oozes real-world detail…An immersive read, this book should prove satisfying.”
-Murder, Mayhem & More, on Greasy Bend
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• Also available: Nail’s Crossing and Greasy Bend
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Average rating from 10 members
Butcher Pen Road: running wild in the backwoods A dead body found in a sleepy creek in rural Oklahoma – at first glance, this is a city-slicker fisherman, sneaking some fly-time out of season, who’s slipped on the rocks. But tribal policeman Bill Maytubby and country deputy Hannah Bond aren’t so easily fooled. The fish in dead man’s keep-net are all wrong for his bait. His gear is too new to be credible. The tracks on the trail suggest different footwear worn by someone taller, with a longer stride. And why is the boy who found the body quite so scared? Fair warning: this review might get a bit gushing. There are a few crime writers who can expertly evoke a sense of place and of genuine people; who can transfer those authentic voices to the printed page. Kris Lackey is one of those authors. It’s no mean feat and it’s punishingly tough to accomplish in minimal prose. James Lee Burke transports his readers to the Deep South and has a wicked ear for cadence and conflict but… let’s face it, JLB uses a thousand words to tie a shoelace. Similarly, John Sandford’s dialogue simply sparkles but both of his charismatic protagonists tend to wander off piste these days. With the Bond and Maytubby series, Lackey has created characters every bit as witty and engaging as Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers. But Lackey’s investigators aren’t Hollywood-style superheroes who get shot in every engagement and can call in an air-strike if the going gets tough. You can believe in Hannah Bond and Bill Maytubby: they live in the same world that we do. They’re methodical, competent and experienced officers… who put themselves in harm’s way to protect the people of their community. We’re with Bill all the way as he nibbles a veggie health snack, kicks off his shoes to better track his suspects, and details a crime scene with meticulous conscience. You can’t help but admire Hannah as she sweats the day away, sweeping the dirt to secure a vital piece of evidence (and then devours dripping red meat for her supper.) And if they have to sidestep a few regulations – and run rings around a rookie state investigator – well, they take their share of punches, too. The two earlier books in this series sensitively illuminated some delicate societal issues. This time there’s not so much emphasis on the cultural intricacies of the Chickasaw nation but instead the spotlight falls on a profoundly deaf young man. He’s the key witness who has seen more than he understands and can easily express – but he’s no token victim and nor is the author playing the sympathy card. The lad is a fully-fledged personality with all the grubby grey ambiguities of adolescence – and the determined courage to stand up to the murderers who stalk him. As Bond and Maytubby follow their evidence they encounter bitter rivalry between bad neighbours, a strange set-up at a healthcare centre, and the bizarre sight of a Roman amphitheatre being hewn from limestone by an aggressive born-again. The initial killing, it seems, is more than an isolated incident. These men have secrets and they’re prepared to kill again to protect them… I should come clean and admit that at times I couldn’t quite see where the disparate threads of this story were heading. The plot gallops along at a cracking pace over a few short days, and you have to run alongside Bill, through the brush and dry river-beds, just to keep up. At times, I was too swept up by the chase to understand what was actually happening. The final two chapters explain it all, but I would’ve appreciated a little bit more of a recap in the middle. And yes, I appreciate the irony that I’m actually asking for a little bit more exposition when I admire the pared-back simplicity of the author’s style so much. Even so, it would’ve helped me if Bill’s conversations with his nutritionist partner provided a little more illumination on the progress of the plot. (And rutabaga – or ‘swede’ as we call them in the UK – are cattle food in any country!) However, I wouldn’t want to miss any of the affectionate double-entendre between this pair in their mature, loving relationship. By the time the final page rolled around I was fully caught up with exactly what had happened, and thoroughly delighted with Maytubby’s deft manipulation of the multi-agency debrief. This is a crime series which wears its humanity firmly on its sleeve. There may be moments of outright aggression and blunt force, but the negative effects are kept in check by the likeable characters and their affable good humour. There’s none of the bleak nihilism which so frequently permeates crime fiction set in backwoods America. The result is ultimately uplifting and affirming, and I can’t wait for the next one. 9/10 Reviewed by Rowena Hoseason / MurderMayhemandMore.net
This is the first book I’ve read by this author. I enjoyed reading a book with a completely different setting than I’m used to. Bill Maytubby and Hannah Bond were an interesting team. It took me a while at the beginning to sort out all the characters. I didn’t realize this was the third book in the series until much later. I think that is why it took me a bit to get them straight. There were a lot of unusual or quirky characters from the deaf boy who witnessed a crime, to LeeRoy, a shotgun wielding man who may just turn out to be helpful. I enjoyed the mystery. There was more swearing in this book than I prefer. That was the main drawback for me. Thank you to Blackstone Publishing for providing me with a free e-copy of this book. All opinions are my own.