To a passerby driving fast across rugged central Texas intent on getting to nearby Austin by dinnertime, Graylor might appear to be the sort sleepy burg where nothing much ever happens, where worries are few and life is easy.
The hawk that circles high above keeping vigil on this countryside sees more than the occasional rabbit or prairie dog. It watches many humans living lives as complicated and emotional as any in the big city. So will the reader of Ask Me Nothing, as author Carol Fox skillfully weaves stories not just between individuals and families but also across time—into a single riveting tale of mystery and murder.
Murder is where the book begins, but the mystery continues until the final sections. I came up with alternate solutions as I flew through the chapters. Did I figure it out? Almost! But it wasn't just the mystery that kept me turning the pages—I wanted to find about these people, to know how they finally fared.
Bill, the deputy sheriff, worries about his horse-loving son Jeffrey about as much he does his job. Jim, of the horseback Search and Recovery team called in to find a missing body, discovers memories of his own son as well. The loves, lives and mishaps of sisters June, Carla, and Patty tangle as they grow from docile girls into independent, self-reliant women.
Fox captures the rugged land and the rugged residents of Central Texas both beautifully and accurately to the eye and ear of this native Texan. It will be a sentimental journey for those familiar with the land and better than a travelogue to those who are not.
Likely that hawk will keep circling because she's as fascinated as I was, and even wonders what's going to happen next. It may just be that she and we will watch Jim hop on his pony and head for the new adventure alluded to in the book's last paragraph. Maybe this is but the first book in a series. The hawk and I hope so!
Carol Fox knows the land she writes about—she lives on a central Texas ranch not far from site of fictional Graylor. Besides writing Fox has spent years teaching not only writing, but also literature and riding. She shares her ranch life with five barn cats, two dog and one horse.
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