Jordon's Wager

Frank Strunk, Author
Frank Strunk, Author Walker & Company $19.95 (241p) ISBN 978-0-8027-5771-5
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Berkley Jordon, deputy sheriff of Buxton, Ky., wants to win the 1933 election for high sheriff more than anything else--except for finding the murderer of Bitsy Trotter. An autopsy reveals that the horribly butchered victim was pregnant, and Bitsy's hot-tempered beau, Sal Manochio, believes he's the father. But there's another candidate, Harry Buxton Jr., Bitsy's secret lover and scion of the owner of virtually every enterprise in the small mining town. Jordon considers both men suspects in the slaying, but community pressure leads to a bitter choice: he can arrest Manochio and lay off Harry Jr., or he can forfeit the election. Doubting Manochio's guilt and Harry's innocence, the deputy sheriff continues his investigation. When another death proves that neither of the two is the killer, Jordon risks everything--his position, his career, even his life--to bring the murderer to justice, and discovers that keeping his integrity is the most important job he can ever have. Strunk's atmospheric, evenly paced debut pays fitting tribute to the strength and unique traditions of the people of Appalachia. (Feb.)
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