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Guilt Trip (Blanco County Mysteries Book 4) by [Rehder, Ben]
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Guilt Trip (Blanco County Mysteries Book 4) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews

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Length: 322 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As funny as it is suspenseful, Rehder's fourth Blanco County mystery (after Flat Crazy) gets off to a fast start when his returning protagonist, game warden John Marlin, is called in to lead the search for a missing SUV owner feared drowned in a flash flood. Almost simultaneously, a local lowlife's house goes up in flames in what appears to be a meth-related explosion. Marlin suspects that the two incidents are somehow connected, and it isn't long before he finds out he's right-and that these events also involve his old friend Phil Colby, a rancher whose opposition to fencing in game on his land has incurred the anger of more than a few of his hunting neighbors. Rehder spices up his Texas-set mystery with other unsavory ingredients: a missing Corvette, a would-be country star turned hit man and a blackmailed state senator who favors unusual outfits during otherwise matter-of-fact sexual encounters. Well-paced, smartly plotted, full of memorable Hill Country denizens and crackling dialogue, this is diverting fun.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This series about Blanco County, Texas, game warden John Marlin keeps getting odder and funnier. In this latest installment, the author edges into the comic territory of Tim Dorsey, Bill Fitzhugh, and Carl Hiaasen. The story involves a state senator who'll do pretty much anything to keep his rather sleazy secret from coming out, but that's only one thread in this wacky tapestry. There are also a missing real estate agent, a nasty group of deer hunters, and a habitual but strangely likable criminal. Oh, and a pet psychic. The Marlin novels have always been humorous--mysteries that happened to be funny--but this one is a comedy that happens to be a mystery. The author's shift in emphasis will delight some series fans and (possibly) annoy others. But one thing's for sure: Rehder has jumped to a new level, and Guilt Trip just might grab a chunk of the outsize Hiaasen crowd. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 1074 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Publication Date: January 9, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005UZGH7U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,112 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Guilt Trip although still another Blanco County Texas set novel with game warden John Marlin, breaks new ground for this successful series in that part of the storyline leaves Texas and is set in Florida, which is where a lot of writers which Rehder's work is compared to, such as Carl Hiaasen, Dave Barry and Tim Dorsey set their novels. Don't worry Marlin doesn't become a coastguard officer or anything, he in fact never leaves Blanco County, but a few of the central to this storyline characters do flee there in a stolen corvette. I like this aspect as it shows us that when Rehder one day chooses to, he will have no problem writing a standalone storyline novel set wherever he wants to that is just as good as this series.

Basic plot of this one - A politician has received some photographs involving himself, his hot young secretary, a whip and a giant nappy. He is being blackmailed to pass a bill banning high fencing around properties which stop the migration of wildlife who cannot jump them, especially large trophy bucks. Of course being a corrupt individual he has been in the pockets of many rich landowners who quite like these large fences as they can selectively weed out smaller game and keep the big boys for the rich city slickers prepared to pay the big dollars to blow one away and hang its head on their walls. So some seedy characters who are good at persuading people to "do the right" thing are brought in to find the blackmailer.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I almost didn't read this book, it started out slow and I was put-off by the cheesy writing in the beginning, but I am glad I stuck with it. The writing got better and the story had so many layers, stories upon stories, really that kept you trying to figure out what they all had to do with the story and just how they all tied together, and even when you thought you knew, turns out you weren't entirely correct after all. I liked the characters, all of them, and loved how the writer, Ben Rehder, tied all the story lines together in the end. Quite a fun read, I didn't want to put it down. I will sure watch for another Blanco County mystery again!
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Format: Hardcover
I've read several of the Blanco County series books and generally enjoyed them. However, with this one, I found that I've reached my tolerance point.

Switching points of view (POV) is a literary device used to generate suspense and advance multiple plot lines. This can be done brilliantly - my earliest recollection of the technique was The Lord of the Rings. However, Rehder is no Tolkien. With this work, he takes the concept to an extreme. He switches POV every 2 pages - and I'm not exaggerating. This constant switching of perspective left me with a bad case of motion sickness, akin to riding the Octopus ride for too long at the county fair. About halfway through, I stopped caring what was going to happen next and gave up - both times I tried reading this. Sorry, Ben, you lost me!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've never seen a book that bounced around with the story line so much. Murder, extortion, con men, dog psychics, car theft. 30% of the way through the book and I still wasn't sure what the story line was and by the end, wished I'd never invested the time in reading it. While the writing and editing is first rate, it has little to no excitement and is extremely hard to follow. Glad I got it while it was on the free list, would hate to have paid even a dollar for this. I guess fans of Ben Rehder expect and enjoy this kind of style based on the positive reviews here but there are much, much better writers out there who write about the exact some geographical location.
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Format: Hardcover
It has been interesting to witness the author hone his skills and develope his identity through his continued efforts. "Guilt Trip" is by fall the best yet, he has managed to bring his stroy to life through the story-lines. I drive Highway 281 often and he captures the true sense of the people and places in this beautiful part of Texas. The author does a good job of misdirection and clue compounding in the vastly entertaining story. He has added depth to the main characters and introduced several new and colorful characters to keep the story line interesting. I can hardly wait for the next book to see how Marlin does with his new flame...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a good book. But it took me some time to reach this conclusion. At first it is confusing because every chapter introduces new characters. And there are several different plots going on at the same time. To his credit the author does a good job of pulling it all together before I lost interest. Normally, if a book doesn't grab me by the end of the first chapter, I give up on it. There are so many good books to read, I don't waste time on bad novels.
The book is almost all dialog, which is well done and fits the current generation of "hurry up to the chase" readers while I, being an old-fashioned writer and reader prefer character development. I like some depth to my characters so that I get to know them better. The people who populate this novel are thin and transparent - not to say that they are not interesting and weird and they play their parts well.
Elmore Leonard made a very successful and profitable career out of all dialog and weird characters, so this is not a put down of this author's style. And he certainly made me hold on out of curiosity to keep me reading to the last page. I believe this book will appeal to younger readers more than us old farts - but whatever your age it certainly deserves a look.
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