The Sandburg Connection
By Mark de Castrique 2011
Poisoned Pen Press
The Sandburg Connection opens in Flat Rock North Carolina. Sam Blackman and his partner/lover Nakayla Robertson are on the investigative trail of Professor Janice Wainwright. Janice claims a recent back surgery gone bad is the cause of her intense pain and is suing for 5 million dollar, thus the reason for the investigation. While following Wainwright up the trails on Glassy Mountain, Blackman hears a cry and reaches Wainwright to find her nearly dead but still conscious. Through her dazed mental state she tells Blackman “it’s the Sandburg verses”.
Of course since Sam is the first to find her he is the prime suspect. Later, after her death, through autopsy reports it’s found she had narcotics in her system but there is indeed evidence of the surgeon’s botched surgery.
A break-in at the Wainwright home and a stolen book of Sandburg’s volumes from Sam’s vehicle, lead Sam to believe there is something more to the death of Wainwright than meets the eye.
Sam and Nakayla travel the country roads of North Carolina and the mountain trails of the Glassy Mountain seeking the truth behind the death of Janice Wainwright and what the “Sandburg verses” is all about.
This is a great story unfolding methodically, and interesting to readers who enjoy southern history with a twist of treasure hunting to boot. I enjoyed the character Sam Blackman who reminds me of a mans man. He’s got an artificial leg and a smoking hot lover that is sure to please any fan of good character development.
The setting is real with plenty of detail for the imagination but doesn’t burden the reader with so much it makes for a tedious read. The dialogue is one of the best in the business as far as I’m concerned too. The only downfall of the story is I feel it needed a bit more development and detail thrown in for the treasure hunt, but then again, this is not supposed to be an adventure it’s a mystery. A great mystery it is!
By Bill Bennett
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