Friday, 19 September 2008

Death at Dark Water

 by John D. Nesbitt
Leisure, February 2008

All Devon Frost was looking for was peace and quiet. An artist, he came to the remote town of Tinaja to draw the local buildings. He didn’t expect to get caught up in a web of lies, accusation…and murder.

The suitor of a ranch owner’s daughter has been found dead, and everyone seems very quick to put the blame on another suitor. But something doesn’t seem right to Devon. He can’t let an innocent man die. And he’s willing to fight the entire town in order to get to the truth.

If you’re expecting a story packed with gunfights and action filled scenes of danger, then this book may not be the right choice for you. If you enjoy well-told stories that build gently through increasing mystery as to the identity of a killer, and to the reasons for that killing, then this could well be the story for you.

John D. Nesbitt spends a lot of time describing the area Frost finds himself in, especially the buildings, depicting every nook and cranny they contain, thus adding great atmosphere to his story.

When not detailing the landscape, Nesbitt writes convincing exchanges of conversation, that along with beautifully observed body language, create the fascinating character studies that fill this well crafted tale of jealousy and murder.

The book is marketed as historical fiction and I think this is, perhaps, the best term for it, as the time period the book is set in is not clear, and it could be much later than that most western readers define as a “western”.

Death at Dark Water was the first book I’ve read by John D. Nesbitt, and it definitely won’t be the last.

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