Parts of this post originally published on July 24, 2012, days after the release of BLOOD LAND. Since then R.S. Guthrie has released MONEY LAND, second in the James Pruett Mystery Series and with HONOR LAND, third in the series, on the horizon, I felt it was worth a repeat.
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 mark the date of the release on your calendar and be the first to buy it. 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 to follow in other genres; it’s just that few authors 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 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 working on the third and final book in the Clan of MacAulay trilogy, Reckoning, and plans on publishing it in the Spring of 2013.)
When Blood Land released, in the first week it started garnering Five-Star reviews. His fans clamored for more and Blood Land has now become the first in what is known as the James Pruett Mystery Series. Since this I can’t count the number of times this book along with his other books, Money Land, Black Beast and LOST have taken the #1 position in Best Seller charts on Amazon.
“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 Blood Land. 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.
When R.S. Guthrie released Money Land, my respect for the author and the character he created grew a hundred-fold. For an author to be able to create a character that you want to know, wish you knew, and to weave the story and words in such a way that when Pruett feels an emotion, whether it be anger, compassion, love, or a yearning so deep that even you feel it, is truly a gift not given to many.
Money Land is described as: Big crime has come literally crashing down on the small town of Wind River, Wyoming, when a small plane bound for the Canadian border carrying money for the Sustantivo Cartel smashes into the glacial Wind River Mountains. The tail of the plane is discovered, empty. No drugs. No money. Shortly afterward, people start dying. When the cartel comes to town, Pruett will do anything within his power to save his town, his people, the land, and his family. Anything.
I began my review of Blood Land with the words “You may read this story once, but you’ll remember it forever.” With the release of Money Land and a continuation of what I hope to be a very long-running series, I’d like to also add now that “Blood Land was the beginning of James Pruett, a character that will live with you forever.”
I thought I’d leave off with a brief word from R. S. Guthrie on what he hopes Blood Land 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 only 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
Coming Soon: HONOR LAND
Learn More About R.S. Guthrie by Visiting www.RSGuthrie.com