Waltz Against The Sky
Posted on October 11, 2018 by Glen Aaron
“In the hours after midnight, Indian Springs suddenly appears to weary travelers as a glowing miniature galaxy, strewn in a south to north arc across that desolate corner of the universe known as the northernmost edge of the Chihuahuan Desert. Overhead, the real stars are mere pinpricks of light fixed above that faint beckoning shimmer.”
Thus begins the Prologue of a murder thriller that keeps the reader glued. But first, you have to immerse yourself into the feeling of a small, scantily populated town, Indian Springs, whose existence (older seedy motels with blinking “vacancy” lights and one Kwik Stop gas offering) is because of the confluence of five major highways. The closest city of any size being a six hour drive.
Initially, you meet Paisano County Chief Deputy Matt Ridgeway sitting in his patrol car around midnight and parked around a corner where he can observe the Kwik Stop. He sees the newly hired reporter, Evan Blaine, for the twice-weekly Indian Springs Dispatch leaving the store with a six pack. Evan is running from lost love in his home of Montana. You get to know him and what has marked his feelings, as the plot moves forward centering on several murders.
Sitting in his patrol car, Ridgeway starts thinking about his Sheriff, Sheriff Leo Blunt, and a jail break they had. It was the only jail break in the 25 years that Blunt was Sheriff, if in fact you could call it a break. One of the regular drunks just walked out. Blunt never locked the cells for the drunks, “Sober ‘em up, send ‘em on their way.” Nobody had ever been stupid enough to break out when they weren’t locked in. But in the middle of thought, the Chief Deputy notices a new beige Oldsmobile with Florida plates pull into Kwik Stop for gas. Two men get out. The driver walks to the back left tire, runs his hand over it, then brings his fingers to his mouth and lickes his fingertips. Deputy Ridgeway sees this as an odd thing to do and becomes more interested. Not only that, but the driver is clearly in a state of anger as filled with gas. The tire seems to be low or flat.
After filling with gas, the Oldsmobile heads down to the Rock Motel, and the two men check in for the night. As the light goes off in the room, Ridgeway runs the plate. There was an alert from Florida out on the plate, something about a fire with a couple of burnt bodies in it.
As you follow the intriguing plot, you learn that these two brothers are named Dink and Del, both terribly dysfunctional, Del being the stronger and just out of prison. Del is taking the Oldsmobile to Riverside, California for an inmate he met in prison. As it turns out, before they had reached Indian springs and at the insistence of Dink, but while Del is asleep in the passenger’s seat, they pick up a hitchhiker headed for California. Angione. This is the young man’s first trip thumbing it. He is about to find out that inexperience and naiveté on the road is a dangerous combination.
While these events are developing, a threesome, one of which is an employee, are planning on robbing the Rock Motel, a plan of tragic consequences. What I’ve told you here about the novel is only the fast moving beginning. The three cases ultimately converge into a fast moving law enforcement chase with high danger on all fronts.
Waltz Against the Sky is well written with good character development, plot sequence and timing. I highly recommend the novel, but here is the catch. The only place the book can be purchased is online at walking3bartpublishing.com.
Author Glen Larum is a retired newspaper editor.