Southwest Books of the Year
Browsing All Fiction Books - D :
Clicking on a book cover will search for the book in the catalog. If it is not part of our collection, you may request it by clicking on the Can't Find It link. An icon indicates if the book is chosen by a panelist as one of the year's best.
- Dead Man's Tunnel
- By Sheldon Russell. Minotaur. 308 pp. $25.99.
- Hook Runyan is a railroad detective or “bull.” The time is right after WWII, and he’s been assigned to a northern Arizona scrap yard to solve copper theft, dull work and punishment for past sins. Things liven up, however, when gets to investigate the apparent suicide of an army sergeant assigned to guard a nearby steeply graded railroad tunnel, critical to the transport of war material. Hook (one-armed, former hobo, now rare book collector) is an original, the tough banter among the characters rings true, dog Mixer is lovable if naughty, the humor is effective, the period history and descriptions of the Ash Fork area seem accurate, the characters memorable, and the plot keeps the reader turning pages. Recommended. [ ]
- Desert Wind: A Lena Jones Mystery
- By Betty Webb. Poisoned Pen Press. 317 pp. $14.95.
- Webb continues to create smooth mysteries with complex plots. In Desert Wind, Scottsdale private investigator Lena Jones tackles the intricacies of life in the small northeastern Arizona town of Walapai Flats where her partner, computer whiz Jimmy Sisiwan, has gone to aid his family. It’s no surprise that things are not what they seem, especially when someone takes potshots at her and the local law dismissively advises her that “accidents will happen”. Nicely plotted, this mystery’s roots extend back to the 1950s in southern Utah. [ ]
- Diamond in the Desert, A
- By Kathryn Fitzmaurice. Viking. 258 pp. $16.99.
- Tetsu, an eight year old Japanese-American boy and his family are sent to the Gila River Relocation Center in Arizona in 1942. He describes it as “…a place where summer came in March and black scorpions crawled into your shoes at night to hide,” and “…where barbed wire stretched in twisted jumble coils to remind us of what happened on December 7, 1941.” As hundreds of families arrive at the relocation camp, the boys living there clear out a section of desert for a baseball field and start a team, playing other teams from around Arizona. They go on to beat the state champions in a rousing game. Japanese-Americans spent three years at this internment camp in Arizona and were not allowed to go home until World War II ended in 1945. This poignant historical fiction is based on the real life of 80-year-old Tetsu Furukawa. [ ]
- By James Sallis. Poisoned Pen Press. 147 pp. $19.95.
- If you read and enjoyed Sallis’ "Drive," or saw the movie about his Hollywood stuntman-turned-getaway driver, this latest is definitely for your reading pleasure. It’s an exciting roller-coaster of a ride through the streets of Phoenix (and briefly, Tucson). The setting is graphically presented and the action is non-stop. The man piloting the car and dodging hitmen is known simply as Driver, and you can put an exclamation point after his name! A must-read for thoughtful fans of action fiction. [ ]
- The pursuer becomes the pursued as the Hollywood stuntman-turned-getaway driver Sallis introduced in his 2005 novel, Driver, cruises the freeways and city streets of Phoenix, dodging the killers in his rearview mirror. Seven years have passed since a double-cross transformed Driver into judge, jury, and executioner, and now it’s payback time for the mysterious hit men who dog his trail. There is not a wasted word in this taut thriller as Sallis leads readers on another adrenaline-filled ride through the mean streets of urban America, where cynicism is the coin of the realm and lives spin on the toss of a dime. [ ]
- By Gary Hart. Fulcrum Publishing. 248 pp. $15.95.
- The former US Senator from Colorado (and one–time presidential candidate) gives us an environmental love story built around the once contentious Animas–La Plata rivers diversion project. In the southwestern corner of Colorado the mostly-Anglo citizens of Durango are sharply divided over the prospect of sharing “their” water with the local Southern Ute Tribe. A former political leader, once touted locally as a future governor, is enticed to come back into politics to resolve the impasse. Lots of historical background will make this saga interesting, mostly to historians and political scientists. [ ]