Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Devil's Hatband by Robert Greer: Review


This was a really good start to a series. CJ is a man at a major crossroads in his life and he knows it. When we are introduced to CJ he is divorced, he owns his own somewhat stable bail bonding & one man bounty hunting company, he's starting to see a middle age spread around his middle that he is determined to fight off, and the woman that he loves has let him know very clearly that he is too high maintenance to have as a serious partner in her life. With personal issues churning he is offered the job of finding and bringing back the errant daughter of an influential African American judge who has become entangled in a radical environmental group operating around Colorado and Wyoming looking to go up against the cattle industry and from there all hell breaks loose.

Robert Greer's writing is engaging and portrays the challenges and sometimes coarseness of male interactions so well. I don't read anywhere near the number of stories that center around Black men and their lives that I do that feature women and this change of atmosphere and dialogue was welcome. The story/mystery was interesting and the resolution not too easily figured out. I enjoyed this so much that halfway through The Devil's Hatband I ordered physical copies of the rest of the series. I am looking forward to working my way through them.

I am very surprised that this author doesn't have more reviews and I am thrilled that I didn't see the reviews listed on Goodreads before I picked this up second hand because I may have hesitated in buying it and therefore missed out on a very enjoyable read. It's interesting that in the two negative reviews one cites an issue of 'relatability' which is a trigger word for me and makes me raise an eyebrow every time I see it applied to books written by PoC and the other which reads as if the story was a personal insult to the reader. I'd give this 3 1/2 stars overall because it does have some first in series issues like an introduction of lots of characters that I think will eventually play more important roles later but sometimes felt squished in. I didn't really mind that since I can see where these characters will probably play larger roles later in the series. I'm rounding this up to 4 stars in hopes that it encourages another reader to give Greer a try with a more open mind.


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