Since I am still waging war with my cold, this will be another short blog today. Over the weekend I thought the cold was going away, so of course I did way too much and now my body is saying, “Hold it. Need to rest here a bit.”
While I’ve been sick I started reading an interesting and well-written novel, Cold Quiet Country by Clayton Lindemuth. The story has two main characters, one an aging sheriff who is serving his last day in office and the other a young man who fled the barn where his employer was killed. Everyone is sure that Gale killed Burt H and whoever finds Gale first will kill him outright.
The story is multi-layered, and told with multiple points of view, sometimes moving from present action to past to fill in back story that is important. Quite often multiple points of view and jumping the time line does not work in fiction, but this one does. We need to know what brought these two main characters to this fateful day.
Set in Wyoming in 1970, the story has a bit of the classic Western, pitting good against evil, but the reader may be surprised at who he or she considers the good guy. I personally did not care for Sheriff Bittersmith, and maybe I wasn’t supposed to. He is introduced in a rather crude way, and maybe that was intentional on the part of the author, flipping the common notion of who is good and who is not. It’s Gale who seems to be the righteous one and I highlighted a number of places where he expressed something worth remembering.
If a man wants something bad enough, he’ll step on anyone at all to get it and then make up whatever justification he needs.
In fact, it was that quote that prompted this post today. I didn’t plan to write a review of the book. My intent when I sat down to write was to post the quote because it applies to so many actions today by so many people in government, business and elsewhere. Then I was going to show how it applies, but since I’m running out of energy, I probably need to stop. I also don’t think I have to point out the obvious.