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The Yard Dog: A Mystery Paperback

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AuthorSheldon Russell
PublisherMinotaur Books
Publication Date40057
Book DescriptionThe Yard Dog takes place near the close of World War II, when a large number of Nazi POWs were incarcerated in camps scattered across the prairies of the United States. , , At Waynoka Divisional Point, near POW Camp Alva, the disillusioned Hook Runyon is assigned by the railroad to run off hobos and arrest pickpockets. Left behind in the war because of the loss of his arm in a car accident, Hook lives in a caboose, collects rare books, and drinks busthead liquor. When a coal picker by the name of Spark Dugan is found run over by a reefer car, Hook and his sidekick, Runt, the local moonshiner, suspect foul play and are drawn into a scheme far greater than either could have imagined. This conspiracy reaches the highest echelons of the camp and beyond and will push Hook and Runt to their physical and mental limits. , , Hook is a complex character, equal parts rough and vulnerable, an unlikely and unwilling hero. He is more than matched by Dr. Reina Kaplan, a Jewish big-city transplant to Camp Alva who is battling her own demons and has been put in charge of educating the Nazi inmates in the basics of democracy before their eventual return to Germany. , , Vivid descriptions of period detail, stark landscapes, and unique characters make this first book in the Hook Runyon series a fascinating mystery full of tension and deep insight.
Editorial Review"Pungent as the coal smoke hanging over a railroad yard, Sheldon Russell's elegantly written The Yard Dog offers a fascinating glimpse of raw passions in an unusual World War II setting that is true to its time and place. As Oklahoma as Woody Guthrie, The Yard Dog is bound for glory." --Carolyn Hart, author of Dare to Die and Ghost at Work "Reading The Yard Dog, I could feel the hot coal cinders from passing locomotive engines burn the back of my neck. The setting is pitch perfect mid-century American noir, and I'm hooked on Hook Runyon!" --James R. Benn, author of Evil For Evil: A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery "The era of the Greatest Generation is brought vividly to life in Sheldon Russell's outstanding novel, The Yard Dog, a compelling story of crime, conspiracy, and disillusionment set in an American POW camp at the end of WWII. The plot is gripping, the writing is crisp, and the setting is both historically accurate and immensely evocative. This is a terrific novel." --William Bernhardt, author of Nemesis: The Final Case of Eliot Ness "Rarely does a book the quality of The Yard Dog come along. Sheldon Russell is the sniper and Yard Dog hits the bull's-eye. Well-written characters, a diabolical plot and Nazis in an Oklahoma prison camp: The Yard Dog has everything it takes to make this the best mystery of the year--or in years! It'll be a real crime if Yard Dog doesn't win an Edgar--it is that good." --Robert E. Vardeman, author Death Channels "...a marvelous read." --Booklist (starred review) "The plot is brilliant and riveting; the characterization is rich and vivid; the setting is distinctive and intriguing. I'm hoping this is the first in a long line of Hook Runyon mysteries." --Fresh Fiction "Russell has created one of the most noteworthy characters in modern detective fiction...The plot is well thought out, the characters memorable, the setting unusual...The Yard Dog is not only one of the best debuts of the year, it is among the best mysteries of the year." --Mysterious Reviews
About the AuthorDr. Sheldon Russell has taught at the University of Louisville and is professor emeritus at University of Central Oklahoma. He is the author of four previously published novels. Empire, a suspense novel; two historic frontier novels, The Savage Trail and Requiem at Dawn, which was voted a Finalist in the 2001 Western Writers of America, Inc. Spur Awards competition; and Dreams to Dust: A Tale of the Oklahoma Land Rush, which won the 2006 Langum Prize for Excellence in American Historical Fiction and the 2007 Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction and was selected as an Official Oklahoma Centennial Project. He lives in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
Number of Pages304