Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mississippi Library Association Review of BLINDERS

My third novel, Blinders was recently reviewed by Mississippi Libraries, a publication of the Mississippi Library Association. The review is viewable on the Mississippi Library Association website in PDF format, but it is not easy to link to, so I am posting it here in its entirety, unaltered. I would like to give a special thanks to the writer of the review, Tamara D. Blackwell for giving me permission to use her review in promotional materials.

Purdon, Carl. Blinders. Lexington, Kentucky: Carl Purdon, 2014. $14.99 (paperback)

Blinders is Pontotoc County, Mississippi, native Carl Purdon’s third novel. Set in Mississippi, it is the story of Dale Criss who, after serving 25 years for killing his high school sweetheart, has just been released from Parchman Prison and is now returning home. No one in his hometown is happy about his return and most think he should never have been released; when a former police officer is murdered, it seems to confirm everyone’s suspicions.

The novel opens with a prologue depicting the final hours of Dale’s trial in a seemingly corrupt courtroom with an arrogant sheriff and a gun-toting judge, combined with an inexperienced court-appointed lawyer and a gallery that’s clearly out for Dale’s blood. The scene resonates with the reader, leaving the distinct impression that Dale did not receive a fair and impartial trial. The reader’s sympathies are tested from the beginning, though, by Dale’s recklessly irresponsible choices and behavior – indeed, at times he appears to be his own worst enemy.

Thrown into the mix are two lawmen with very different attitudes towards law enforcement and how it should be implemented, and who are constantly butting heads to see who will prevail. Trap Malone is a by-the-book kind of man that believes there’s only one line to follow and it should never be crossed. Challenging Trap’s authority is Chief Deputy Carson Webster, a remnant of the former sheriff’s administration who preferred his old bosses’ style of justice and is a constant irritant to Trap. While Carson’s adamant desire to put Dale back behind bars at any cost tests Trap’s resolve, it is his wife’s betrayal, however, that has him questioning everything he believes in.

This well written book has a fast-paced plot that will appeal to contemporary fiction readers who enjoy action and suspense. While the book does have violent content, the violent scenes are short and the worst takes place “off-page.” Carl Purdon’s exciting book is suitable for most adult audiences and is recommended for all public libraries.

Tamara D. Blackwell
Reference Services
Bolivar County Library System 

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