By Lynn Willoughby
DreadfulWater ~ Thomas King
After reading “The Inconvenient Indian” and several other books by King, this was not at all what I expected. But I loved it! The wit and humour of the entire cast of characters in this novel filled me with joy and often made me laugh out loud.
It is a mystery, taking place in the fictional town of Chinook, Montana. Thumps DreadfulWater is a retired California cop who only wants to take photographs and enjoy his retirement. But Sheriff Hockney has other plans. He wants to take a vacation with his wife and is busy recruiting Thumps to be Acting Sheriff in his absence.
A major water conference is planned for their community, where a new technology will be revealed that will revolutionize both the water and oil industries. There are big corporations, powerful people with lots of money, body guards, national news reporters, mysterious phone calls to Thailand and murder.
The conflict is real, but King handles the personalities with such charm I felt I knew them all. In typical small town fashion, everyone knows your business before you do. And although this irritates Thumps, it is also endearing. And when Thumps is diagnosed with diabetes, Al, at the dinner, won’t give him hash browns with his breakfast eggs. She substitutes with sliced tomatoes. When Thumps friend, Cooley, brings breakfast out to the house – it is doughnuts and coffee. But Cooley thoughtfully eats all the doughnuts himself so Thumps won’t be tempted!
Yes, there is the underlying significance of water rights, there is a legitimate conflict of interests, there is murder. But there is also King’s …”unerring knack for converting social, racial and economical conflict into blissful farce.” – Kirkus Review.
This is a great read and I highly recommend it.
- Green Grass, Running Water
- Medicine River
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