cover image Devils and Dust: A Jack Keller Novel

Devils and Dust: A Jack Keller Novel

J.D. Rhoades. Polis (PGW, dist.), $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-940610-17-7

Rhoades's entertaining fourth novel about bounty hunter/mercenary Jack Keller (after 2007's Safe and Sound) stretches believability at just about every turn. Keller is trying to live the quiet life in a small southwestern town, but his former employer (and one-time lover), Angela, has tracked him down to help find her husband, Oscar Sanchez. Oscar has disappeared while investigating what happened to his two sons, whom he arranged to have transported illegally across the Mexican border. Keller follows the trail south for a confrontation with Auguste Mandujano, the crime lord who brokered the deal. We soon learn that some of Mandujano's "shipments" of illegal immigrants were intercepted by a radical white supremacist group calling themselves the Church of Elohim. Led by a psychopathic zealot, "the General", the group runs a forced labor camp in South Carolina, holds mock "trials" for minor infractions, and metes out lethal punishments. Inevitably, Keller has to infiltrate the Church of Elohim with stealth and a lot of firepower to rescue the boys. Rhodes does a fine job of building the suspense and writes convincing action scenes, he uses largely stock characters and situations. (Feb.)