The Whiskey Killing, by H.R. Williams, is the fictional account of an Eastern Arkansas liquor store owner and the police captain who pursues the killer. Captain Walker and his team have very little evidence with which to launch the investigation into the murder. After a couple of false starts, the clues eventually lead them to the killer.
The Whiskey Killing is bursting at the spine with characters. Each character has a distinct personality, and Williams does a very good job of developing that many characters in so short of a story.
The plot was well thought out. I’m pretty good at punching holes in a plot, but this one didn’t seem to have any. The only problem I could find was a minor one which involved the type of weapon used to kill the liquor store owner. If you read it and see a problem with the weapon, please send me an email. I’d like to know that I’m not alone here.
Here’s a link to The Whiskey Killing at goHastings, if you are interested in purchasing a copy. Just click on the picture below.
Jennifer’s mother sent me some books for Christmas. They were written by H.R. Williams. According to the jackets of the books, Williams grew up on Crowley’s Ridge in Northeast Arkansas. What a coincidence! That’s where I grew up. Well, actually I grew up a couple of hundred yards from the Ridge. Technically, I lived in the flatlands, I suppose.
Physically, the books aren’t exactly like those that you will find on the shelves at Walmart or Barnes and Noble. They aren’t as thick, and the covers are different. I was a little skeptical of the books at first just because of the way they look.
However, I jumped right in. I read Harris: Return of the Gunfighter first. I would call it short – short in length, but not in plot. Harris is set somewhere in Northeast Arkansas shortly after the Civil War. The main character, Harris, is an ex-gunfighter who is compelled to action to help the Sheriff of a small town. The story climaxes as do most western movies – a shootout between the good guys and the bad guys. Notice, I did not give a spoiler alert. I don’t think predictable stories require a spoiler.
Even though the plot was somewhat predictable, the story was still a good one. The characters were about as developed as one could expect in a short story. They were likeable, at least the likeable ones. The despicable were despicable. And there were a few in between – they were appropriately in between.
I believe this to be the first western fiction that I have ever read. I don’t have anything against westerns; I just never felt the need to read one. However, I’m glad I read this one. I have often said that a good science fiction book is about the characters and their behaviors, not about the science. I quickly forgot that Harris was a western. Shortly into the book, it became more about the characters and less about the setting.
Williams told a good story with Harris. It was a short read, leaving me anxious to read another of his books. Lucky for me, I have two more.