I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s not very often I come across an author that whatever they write, you’re going to buy it, no matter the cost.
The first author I ever came across where I devoured her works was Agatha Christie. Well, I take that back. If I have to be totally honest, it was Franklin W. Dixon and his “Hardy Boys” series. Holy Cow! Can I remember stowing them away in my suitcase on summer camping trips with my parents. When I wasn’t off exploring hiking trails and traversing bike paths, you’d find me by the campfire reading what kind of trouble Frank and Joe were getting themselves into.
From Agatha Christie I drifted to find artists in other genres, Judith McNaught, Marcia Muller, Diana Gabaldon. There were few authors that grabbed me to where I waited, anxiously, for their next work to be published. But I have found one now and I am here to shout it out that R.S. Guthrie has IT!
I’ve read all his works, the poignant, almost spiritual short story, Rod and Staff, the touching bring tears-to-your-eyes eulogy to his infant son, A Letter to Brody, his first novel and the first in the Clan of MacAulay thriller series, Black Beast, followed by L O S T, the second in the series. (He is currently working on the third and final book in the Clan of MacAulay trilogy and plans on publishing it by the end of this year.) But in the meantime, now, the looooong awaited, Blood Land has been released. And believe me, it is his finest work to-date. It’s been out less than two weeks and already has fifteen Five-Star reviews. I’ve downloaded and read all his works, as I’ve said. I also have Black Beast in paperback sitting on my bookshelf and am counting the days when I can have Blood Land sitting beside it.
“The land was unkind to those who worked it, so families sometimes became commensurately unkind to their own.”
“Whiskey. Pungent & sweet. Inviting & unsettling. His stomach circled and snarled within him like a cornered animal.”
“A cold line of sweat ran down his spine. The gun on his right hip felt as heavy as the world atop his shoulders.”
“His heart felt so worn down it did not beat so much as murmur; a utilitarian thing without feeling or sound.”
“Losing his wife was terrible, but there were memories that cost nearly as much & proved just as impossible to outrun.”
“The burial ground sat just past two oak trees that grew together as they prayed, open-armed toward the sky.”
“Too often families walked from the courtroom jaws agape, stunned to be leaving with far more questions than answers.”
“Pruett put his arm around her narrow shoulders and she leaned into him. Like they’d never parted.”
“She was sweet-hearted—naive love from an innocent, offered unrequited to cantankerous, oily hearts.”
“Tears brimmed on the edges of her bottomless eyes. A singular drop crossed the barrier of her control.”
I guess I should tell you a little bit about the book. Some of this comes from the synopsis from his Amazon page: At the story’s core is a man–a law officer–made widower by his wife’s own brother, hurt by the estranged love of his child who hires the lawyer to defend the killer, and torn by the murder that he must solve while living in a reality he can barely face. Love is renewed, grief is shed, revenge is found. R. S. Guthrie captures all this, sets you in the scene to experience these feelings, be a witness to humanity born from human failings and redemption, make you scorn those who threaten it. You can see through his writing a countryside so starkly majestic you can hardly imagine evil there; truly one of the last places on earth where the mountains tower above the flatness of prairie and a person can still see from horizon to horizon. Blood Land is set in the prime of the twenty-first century Wyoming gas boom, when some landowners become rich and others get nothing but ruined roads and razed land. It is the story of a hero who will rise against all the pain in his heart to do what must be done; and, to find love again. He delivers all the answers in a brilliant, you won’t-believe-your-eyes ending.
R. S. Guthrie dedicated Blood Land to his Father “who loved Wyoming as much as any pioneer.” He has made his Dad proud through this work.
I thought I’d leave off with a brief word from R. S. Guthrie on what he hopes this book brings to you, the reader:
I am a deep believer that at our core we all feel so many of the same emotions, have similar fears, and at one point or another in our lives have experienced loss, failure, success, love, heartbreak, etc. As an author, my goal is always to build characters who not on live and breathe for the reader but who are deep enough to touch those places where we are all human beings.
In my first two books, I think I accomplished that with Detective Bobby Mac, though I have never been a detective nor part of the police department (an author friend who is a cop thought I got that part right and wanted to make me an honorary member of the men and women in blue). In this third book, however, I grew up in this country—I experienced the characters who roamed the town and the countryside and they affected me forever.
This book is the one I always had to write. Every character in this book is put together with parts and pieces of real men and women who influenced me—the very men and women and countryside who were such a large part of our father wanting to move us to Wyoming.
This book is easily my favorite of the three, also, and it always was. I love my first two books, but I am in love with Blood Land. I think the reader will feel that with every page.
R. S. Guthrie