Here are few reviews:
Readers familiar with Larry D. Sweazy's (much deserved) award-winning Western novels and short stories will find THE DEVIL'S BONES, his new mystery, to be a gripping read sure to top a number of this year's "Best of" lists. THE DEVIL'S BONES is packed with Sweazy's masterful storyteller's voice, his thoughtful pacing and description, and the complex emotional power his readers have come to know and expect from his writing. And Sweazy isn't afraid to tackle themes that make lesser writers wince. At times reminiscent of such masters of crime writing as Loren D. Estleman, Elmore Leonard, and Joe R. Lansdale, but in wholly his own voice, Larry D. Sweazy is carving a bold spot for himself in the mystery world. Here's hoping the tight, no punches pulled, no emotions spared writing in THE DEVIL'S BONES marks the first of many such works from this emerging master.
The Devil's Bones, by Larry D. Sweazy, Five Star Publishing, 2012. Mystery. When the skeleton of a child turns up in a dried-up pond on the outskirts of a small Indiana town, policeman Jordan McManus’s life spins suddenly out of control, as sordid events of the past bubble to the surface. The town’s dark side—its treatment of Mexican farm workers, and its hidden meth labs—fuels the narrative with moral anger and a clear-eyed view of depravity. If John Steinbeck had collaborated with John D. MacDonald, this is the novel they might have written. Alternating scenes between present and past, Sweazy deftly weaves a story that gets to the heart of good and evil, and keeps you guessing to the end as to the secrets and motivations of those on either side of that thin line. Well-written and tightly plotted, The Devil’s Bones delivers the goods like a .38 slug to the gut.
Taking a respite from the Western genre, author Larry D. Sweazy stretches his talents in THE DEVIL'S BONES, a modern thriller. It has only slight touches of a modern Western, in the sense that it takes place in a Midwestern small town where dark secrets have been hidden for years. And they are about to rear their ugly head, due to a summer drought. It all starts when local deputy Jordan McManus is called upon by his boss to meet him at a pond where he's made a grisly discovery: the skeleton of a small child. The bones could belong to the one case the marshal has never shaken: the disappearance of a young Mexican boy named Tito Cordova. In his possession, the marshal has a letter pointing him to the location, as well as a small medal the boy used to own. Things turn ugly quickly when shots are fired at both men. Could this have been a set-up all along, to finally close the case? When the marshal takes a bullet and bleeds all over Jordan, all eyes look squarely at the deputy as the culprit, leaving it up to him to unravel the truth. Sweazy has created a small town filled with enough problems and secrets to make Elmore Leonard proud. But all the while, he tells the story in his own pace and style, especially when we discover the bones don’t belong to Tito. As we see through flashbacks, the child was dropped off at a orphanage in Mexico, but the “who” and “why” remain a mystery. We follow Tito’s growth from young boy to man while concurrently getting glimpses into Jordan’s own upbringing. It’s during these moments we find out how other characters are tied closely to both storylines, especially as we see Jordan dealing with family issues he has been avoiding most of his life: a brother who became crippled in a childhood accident, the loss of his mother, and the return of his father after years of abandonment. Jordan is no angel. He understands that, but he sure isn’t going to let anyone make the same mistakes. Sweazy peppers THE DEVIL’S BONES with characters and situations that easily could take place in the backwoods of America. The novel illustrates without a doubt that when Sweazy wants to, he can go toe-to-toe with any modern thriller writer.