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Delayed Reckoning (A Tom Padgett Novel) (Volume 1) Paperback – July 3, 2013
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From the Author
I really enjoy crafting characters with humor and personality. l strive to lend atmosphere and color to my books by using descriptions of locations in rural settings which help to create stories that are believable to my readers. The characters are on a real scale with traits we can recognize in ourselves...But then there are the mysterious characters who possess sinister elements and hidden agendas. Building multi-layered plot twists and character development is what makes me love being a writer.
From the Inside Flap
Also by Sterling Young
A Force To Be Reckoned With - Book 2 of the Reckoning Trilogy
Final Reckoning - Book 3 of the Reckoning Trilogy
Blood in the Wind
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So it was with a little trepidation that I sat down an started turning the pages. When I next poked my nose above the book, two hours had passed and, much to my surprise, I was having fun. I liked the book. I liked the characters. I liked the setting. I liked the writing.
Tom Padgett retired from the police force and his divorce settlement cost him half his pension and most of his middle class financial cushion. Been there, done that, so I had an immediate empathy with the character. Padgett pulls up stakes and buys a piece of land with a rundown trailer in rural Kentucky so that he can live quietly and do some hunting. Bill Wilson, the local sheriff, distrusts a police officer who would move into a dilapidated trailer, particularly when a series of drug related crimes happen in Padgett’s neighborhood. He decides on the basis of no evidence at all, to pin the crimes on Padgett, but he is so inept that he ignores evidence pointing in other directions.
Delayed Reckoning is very much a novel of setting and characterization, not a fast paced thriller. Much space Is given to Padgett’s walks in the woods with his dog Bella and to his careful attention to the details, even ethics, of hunting. My father was an avid hunter and my grandfather was a guide and game warden, so the careful preparation, the avoidance of opening day, and the determined tracking of a wounded deer, ring true to me. These are what my father did. Padgett explores the surrounding area and visits the nearby watering holes giving him an introduction to the people of the area, even the lowlifes. He finds who does what, not by careful detective work but by immersing himself in the community.
The characters are well drawn, but lots of loose ends in their backgrounds. Tom is also well drawn, but there is something about the death of his police partner years ago that is significant but unspecified. Wilson has alcohol problems with blackout episodes. One time he posts on the internet an embarrassing video of himself singing in his skivvies . Nick, Tom’s buddy, is one of the unambiguously good guys.
*** Mild Spoilers*** The plot sometimes feels disjointed. There is no carefully plotted progression. Things just happen with no apparent connection, just as in real life. Not every plot line gets resolved in this book. The psychopath gets his just rewards, but the prescription drug dealer does not, mostly because the sheriff doesn’t bother to follow up on a tip that that Padgett gives him. And the incident that started it all, the meth lab explosion, is not reckoned with. However, there is a satisfactory conclusion to the book and the loose ends don’t feel like a cliff hanger, but did leave me wanting to read the next book.
One of my favorite mystery writers is James Lee Burke whose Dave Robicheaux novels are suffused with wonderful characters in the atmosphere of southern Louisiana. If you like Burke, I think you will like Vic and rural Kentucky.