Uncle Denny is Don Meyer's completion of the Sheriff Tom Monason Trilogy, a series of crime thrillers set in an unnamed ski town high in the mountains of California. The sheriff is an experienced cop from the big city, now nearing semi-retirement age and running a tiny, informal police department in what should be a sleepy town, but rarely is, sort of like Paradise MA or Cabot Cove ME. As you may have already guessed, most of the charm of Don's trilogy comes from his quiet town of amiable characters. The main distinction from those similar settings of novels and television is that blizzards and heavy snow often play key parts in the crimes solved by Sheriff Monason, and the plot of Uncle Denny is no exception.
The title derives from a mispronunciation of a lead character's name, that of a Russian mobster. An FBI agent phones Sheriff Monason to explain that several criminals from Chicago are headed to Monason's town. Because of a severe blizzard in the area, FBI personnel cannot reach the scene quickly enough, so the sheriff and his few deputies need to head off the mobsters at the pass, as they used to say in old westerns. The reader is introduced to the malicious modus operandi of Uncle Denny early in the story, and then the plot begins to unroll.
Don Meyer writes in a very direct, concise manner, telling his story mostly through incisive dialogue with little extraneous descriptive detail. Uncle Denny is a somewhat satisfying read, but proper editing and punctuation are somewhat lacking. There are way too many repeated phrases in which the author wasted opportunities to tell us more about the settings and characters. It is, after all, Mr. Meyer's display of folksy characters and small-town ambiance that makes his Sheriff Monason Trilogy such satisfying reading.Read more ›
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