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The Chicken Hanger Paperback – March 6, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ben Rehder is a freelance writer, novelist, and outdoors enthusiast who lives with his wife near Austin, where he was born and raised.  Novels from the six-book series, Blanco County comic mysteries, made best-of-the-year lists in Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and Field & StreamBuck Fever, the first in the series, was nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America.
Rehder’s nonfiction articles and essays have appeared in Newsweek, Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine, Texas Co-op Power, and the San Antonio Express-News, covering topics ranging from hunting laws to pit bulls to health care reform. He has had one short story published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Texas Christian University Press; 1st edition (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875654363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875654362
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,328,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ben Rehder can write, no question about it. His stories flow easily. His multiple subplots all merge effortlessly into a main story line. His grammar and editing are top notch. This book is absolutely no exception. While the story may be controversial, the writing takes you right into the middle of the plot. The characters are well-developed with just a few brush strokes of prose. I have now read every book published by Mr Rehder and look forward to reading many more. I highly recommend this book!

Now for my opinion: I am not a big supporter of illegal immigrants to the US. They have basically brought the state of California to the edge of bankruptcy. They have nearly overpowered our social services and mandatory free medical support. Many become thieves, crooks, killers, and gang members. These may be in the minority but they are the visible face of illegal migration into this state. You have to remember these are not the middle or top level of society from where they originated. These people are the desperate bottom of Maslow's heirarchy. Look at the protagonist in this book. The first thing he does is steal a bicycle and repaint it so the owner will not recognize it. And I'm supposed to be sympathetic to him? Later in the book, he steals from a dead man before the dead man's son arrives. Oh golly gee whiz, I should emote for him? The end of the book sort of gives you a picture of what would happen without illegals doing work for subminimum salary---the companies will have to raise the pay to hire qualified candidates, automate their factories, and, yes, raise prices (or cut profits). OK, I'll get off the soap box.

Read this book-- it is worth it! (Regardless of my opinions on the subject matter.)
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Format: Paperback
This is the first standalone storyline novel written by Ben Rehder after six successful novels set in Blanco County Texas revolving around game warden John Marlin. Neither Blanco County nor John appear in this one at all. I actually think this is a good thing, you never know how good a writer someone is until they can leave behind a successful series and write something completely different. That's what the Chicken Hanger is, completely different, and it's very, very good. This novel tackles the immigration debate, specifically illegal worker Mexico/Texas border crossings. Like Rehder did with the gun control debate in the fifth Blanco series novel Gun Shy, he presents both sides of the debate well through various characters eyes, including illegal Mexican workers, border patrol officers, as well as a racist ranch owner who just happens to be the worst kind of racist, ie someone who don't think they are racist. I really enjoyed this one and loved all the characters. I'd love to see some of them appear again, at least as cameos in future novels.

The basic plot revolves around an illegal worker named Ricky who works hard for next to nothing as a chicken hanger in a chicken slaughter house. He's getting sick though but believes it's just the flu. His brother is supposed to be joining him but is making the dangerous passage across the Mexican border. However a couple of rednecks have their own idea of what the consequences should be for illegal border crossers that cross the land they work on. Before Ricky will see his brother again, these rednecks will see him first.

The Chicken Hanger still has the eccentric characters and fun of the Blanco County novels, but it is slightly more serious at times.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After having read many of Rehder's novels I had expected another well written, funny mystery. This novel was nothing like that. I am glad I read it, and it has changed my thinking on the border problem. Should anyone buy this book looking for another humorous entertainment from Rehder they will be disappointed. This book does however show the versatility of the author, but if the book had not identified him, doubtful I would have bought this novel.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read The Driving Lesson, the first Ben Rehder novel I have ever read. I liked it so very much that I bought The Chicken Hanger just to see if it would be good too. I liked it very much as well. I now plan to read the other books Mr. Rehder has written. I have a few authors I like so much that I will give anything they have written a shot. Pat Conroy and Jodi Piccoult come to mind. I must admit that prior to the Kindle and the many free or super cheap downloads, I was a big fan of my library card. Sorry to be an non-purchaser of books but I usually only read them once. Ben Rehder is an author who deserves being paid for his work. And I will gladly pay whatever I need to, to read the rest of what he has written.
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By Hanky on January 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like all of the Blanco County mysteries by Rehder. They are just a fun way to pass the time and I always get a chuckle out of his stories. This could just as easily have been written about my part of Oklahoma and the descriptions of his characters are spot on.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Rehder's Blanco County books, but was anxious to read this very different novel. Rehder takes the Blanco County "style" with his characters, but tells a very different, deadly serious, story here. I guess a professional reviewer would call it "timely" and "tragic." I say that this is a book EVERYONE should read.
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