cover image Bay of Sorrows

Bay of Sorrows

Gaylord Fold / Author, Gaylord Dold / Author St. Martin's Pres

Crime stories about angst-ridden antiheroes in rural settings may be commonplace, but little is ordinary or hackneyed in this story about a deputy sheriff on the Texas Gulf coast. The locale is palpable, exotic and painstakingly evoked. The action, sometimes dragging tortuously through the heat and humidity, fits the setting. Tom Poole works the area around Port Arthur, keeping the peace between the ``bubbas'' and the immigrant Vietnamese, both groups scrambling to extract a living from the dwindling shrimp industry. An old Vietnamese fisherman with two daughters and two drugged-out sons-in-law is found dead in his shack, the gunshot wound behind his ear inflicted by an expensive new handgun. Poole-sad, divorced and a Vietnam veteran-doesn't believe the old guy shot himself, but his bullying boss does, and takes him off the case. The deputy, livid, keeps on investigating, partly out of war-related guilt and partly to befriend Adrienne, an older woman with a terminally ill husband who has sparked Poole's belief that if his salvation exists anywhere, it is in her arms, in a cottage on the beach along the hot, blighted coastland. Poole finds drug activity, more death and more reason to go on. Dold's (Rude Boys) lyrical and stylized prose is of a quality rarely encountered in any genre. (Feb.)