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Loni Wagner returns home to her small Arizona home town from L.A after her grandmother has a stroke. Loni is still grieving after the death of her partner and love of her life Maria, who was shot in the line of duty. If Loni expected a quiet life after the hustle and bustle of being a cop in L.A, she was very much mistaken in her thoughts.
Highway Patroller, Loni sees plenty of action, including a suspicious plane crash, car accidents galore, rapes, murders, drug running and human trafficking from across the Mexican borders are just for starters.
Her homophobic racist Chief hates her, he gives her every horrible and menial job he can find. He is a sexist redneck pig and Loni despises him.
Loni has her own family problems too. Her Native American grandparents are suffering great losses at the hands of cattle rustlers. Losses they can ill afford. Will Loni be able to catch them?
While Loni is trying to move on from Maria's death, she finds herself drawn to two women. But can Loni let the past go and move on?
Meanwhile there is a mystery to solve too. Will Loni be allowed to work on it? The Chief is against Loni, so are others. Will Loni win through?
This is an extremely well written book that is much more than `just another mystery'. Yes, there is a mystery Loni has to solve, with or with out the help of her fellow police officers. Some of whom she's not sure she can trust. But this book also goes into the history of Loni's ancestors, giving us a great look backwards into the past and bygone days in Arizona.
The story is set in present time Arizona with glimpses back into the past using writings given to Loni from her grandparents time.Read more ›
GLBTRT Newsletter A publication of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Round Table of the American Library Association [...]
The Truck Comes on Thursday: A Loni Wagner Mystery
Drawing on her experiences and knowledge of Arizona's deserts and landscapes, Hardesty combines police work, mystery, and romance with Native American culture, family, and personal loss into this entertaining and attention-grabbing debut novel.
The protagonist, Loni Wagner, has returned home to her maternal grandparents, Native Americans who raised her on a ranch at the request of her German father. Suffering from the loss of Maria, her partner in love and work, Loni is reminded why she left, the hatred towards half-breeds and the chauvinistic attitudes towards females in general.
As she readjusts to small-town life after her city life in Los Angeles, Loni finds herself forced to tone down her lesbian, two-spirit self while investigating a major drug and human trafficking ring. Loni is the outsider who sees everything with a fresh eye. Little does anyone know that the Chief of Police is a pedophile, and his attempts to thwart and stomp down Loni come not from prejudice but instead from his desire to save himself. Plot twists, romance, hope, and despair all come together in this gut-wrenching, tear-jerking, hope raising tale of romance and mystery.
This book is a wonderful addition to any romance or mystery collection as well as for those interested in reading about police work, Native American culture, and a touch of Arizona history.
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It's never a good thing when the cover of a book misleads the reader as to what is inside. Even a good story can be lost if the reader is focused on something else. The Truck Comes on Thursday says on the cover that it is a mystery, but fans of that genre may dispute that fact.
The problem with this book is that the "mystery" is not at the heart of it. Sections about the different crimes spring up at irregular intervals and sometimes seem to be afterthoughts to what is actually going on in the book. The criminal sections are often rough, flow poorly and are at times confusing. They disrupt the pace of the book and Loni seems to make leaps to information that isn't supported by what has been told in the story. There are also long sections from a diary written by Loni's ancestor that don't seem to make much contribution to the story at all. Why this technique was included is puzzling because the information included doesn't add to the narration.
At the heart of this book is a more interesting story than the crimes that are committed. There is a great deal of knowledge about the ritual stories told by Indians, how they perceive relationships differently and their vision of how people should interact with the natural world. When Loni is listening to her grandparents talk about their traditions or explain Indian attitudes, the book is at its best. Hardesty also obviously knows the geography and culture of the area well enough to make her descriptions very vivid and to give insight into some of the problems that exist along the US-Mexico border. At times the reader may feel that what Hardesty really wanted to write was the story of that area, with an emphasis on how the Indians have been mistreated and survived.Read more ›
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I was born and raised on the Arizona desert and grew up on horseback until I was thirty years old. I taught English and media in high school for twenty-seven years. Loving the sound of water I decided to get out the the desert heat and move to the coast of Oregon where I found all the water I wanted. It is lovely. With my partner of forty plus years I opened a bookstore and two bed and breakfasts. And now I write.