Sunday, January 18, 2009

Blood Harvest by Brant Randall

bloodharvest1Blood Harvest by Brant Randall 286 pgs. 2008 3.75/5 Brant Randall's Blood Harvest is a novel full of suspense, a fast paced intricate story, and a sense of history that is painful to remember. At face value, it can be called a crime novel, or a murder mystery. But it's much more than that. Randall brings us a fictional story based on all too real events. Blood Harvest is set in New England in the 1920's. It's a time of moonshine, corrupt politics, and sadly, a time of racism. The racism in this book isn't just black and white. One of the main characters or groups of characters in the novel is the Ku Klux Klan, a name I despise even saying. He shows their true evil in this well researched novel. Yes, there is black and white racism, but the main focus of the story is on an Italian immigrant. The KKK goes after not only black people and non Christians as is so often believed, but anyone who doesn't fit the "white Christian" ideal. The main crime of this novel is that of the son of an Italian immigrant being sexually active with one of the local girls. With the mob mentality of the town that the novel is set in, we know from the start that the poor boy nor his father have a chance in hell of truly being set free regardless of what the court decides. This town is out to get them. With the head of the KKK in town and a corrupt politician, the father of the boy seems doomed from the start and it's a gut wrenching story to follow. The story is told in sections through different points of view in the town, even including the point of view of a dog and a crow at one point! I really enjoyed this method of story telling, though I have to admit that there were certain characters who just aggravated me to no end when they were telling the story. It was also a little hard to get acclimated to the different voices as they changed, but that's a minor quibble. Overall, I think this was a very well written book that provided quite a bit of suspense, a hell of a story line, and is certainly socially important as well. As much now as it was during the setting of this novel. Stay tuned Thursday for an interview with Brant Randall!

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