cover image Moon Underfoot

Moon Underfoot

Bobby Cole. Amazon/Thomas & Mercer, $14.95 trade paper (470p) ISBN 978-1-61218-721-1

In Cole’s thoroughly enjoyable second crime novel featuring Mississippi outdoorsman Jake Crosby, quintessential redneck Ethan “Moon Pie” Daniels sets out to murder Crosby and his family as retribution for Crosby’s acts 18 months earlier in 2008’s The Dummy Line. Starting with stalking and arson, Moon Pie soon escalates to insanely horrific acts. Meanwhile, four retirees, three men and one woman, become intertwined with Moon Pie and his dim but decent half-brother, Levi Jenkins, after the four inadvertently steal an extremely large sum of money from nasty drug lords. As the bag of money falls into various hands, the four old people quickly establish themselves as the gang that couldn’t think straight. The rural Mississippi setting lends a pungent, swampy, and malevolent aura to the action. The many good old boys (poachers, game wardens, petty thugs) rise above stereotype. Cole manages to tie up all the loose strands of the complex, deftly handled plot in a highly satisfying way. (Jan.)