The Rented Mule uses the classic Hitchcockian motif of the falsely accused man trying to clear his name and avoid getting killed in the process. When we first meet successful business executive and family man Cooper Dixon, he appears to be living the dream of the New South. But soon he’s knee-deep in blackmail, kidnapping, murder charges, and life on the lam, trying to outfox his enemies and figure out why so many people seem to want him dead.
The Rented Mule is also full of supporting characters so fully realized, idiosyncratic, and just plain fun that I wished they could have their own spin-off. You’ll definitely want more of this gang that couldn’t shoot straight: Clarence, Maynard, Jesse Ray, and Jenny (their names alone warrant it). The Rented Mule goes down so easy, it isn’t until you’ve finished that you realize how intricate and tightly wound the whole story was.
One last bit of trivia about the wonderful Bobby Cole: he’s the only author who’s ever offered to take me turkey hunting. Believe me, I was tempted—but I just can’t pull off camouflage at this weight.
- Terry Goodman, Acquiring Editor