Each month Abington Library will feature a favorite book from a faculty, staff member, or student. They will give a brief synopsis of their chosen book.
An Undercurrent of Murder by Joe David Rice is a fiction novel set in North Arkansas. A friend recommended it because the action happens on the Buffalo River and the surrounding areas where I spent much of my childhood.
The main character, Randy Lassiter, is from Little Rock, and his sister arranges for him to take her city-boy husband on a camping/hiking trip near Ponca, Arkansas. The two characters aren’t BFFs because the brother-in-law irritates Randy by making nonstop puns; however, Randy respects his sister’s wishes and helps prepare the city-boy for the rough terrain.
Even though the puns bother Randy, I find them entertaining because of the humor. The brother-in-law knows Randy is not his biggest fan but continues to be himself, which I admire.
The camping spot on the Buffalo River quickly transforms into a mystery when they discover a bag containing personal items. Before they could turn it over to the authorities, they have visitors who seem out of place in the rural area. The interaction turns deadly when Randy and his brother-in-law realize the visitors are looking for something.
The hiking trip continues on the Goat Trail while staying aware of the visitors. Beyond odd and dangerous interactions on the trail, the visitors became menacing, and the mystery hightens. Since I grew up playing in caves, the elements regarding cave exploration kept my attention.
(The Goat Trail – Chris Dillon)
I loved the storyline, setting, mystery, and humor in this book so much that I requested the Abington Library entertain hosting the Arkansas author, Joe David Rice, to speak in the fall. He now lives in Ponca, Arkansas near where this mystery happens.