Gun Shy

A Novel

Gun Shy
by Ben Rehder
St. Martin’s
ISBN:  0-312-35752-4
Reviewed by:  Terry South

Gun Shy is the fifth novel in this mystery series featuring game warden John Marlin.   The setting is Blanco County, Texas and it begins as the National Weapons alliance and director Dale Stubbs gear up for the big rally.  The rally is supporting Americans with the right to carry concealed weapons.  This is a controversial subject to say the least, but the author has brought humor into the mix and makes light of both sides, remember this is a work of fiction. This rally is expected to be on a grand scale and the NWA’s spokesman is none other than Mitch Campbell.

Mitch is hosting the rally at his Blanco County ranch and will be performing the NWA’s anthem and his number one hit single “My Cold Dead Hands”, but he is no real cowboy, in fact he is an impostor; his agent thought the persona would boost his record sales, deceitful yes.  This deceit could end up in a disaster or could make Mitch a big hit.  Mitch’s true identity is that of Norman Klienschmidt from Middlebury, Vermont so he is not even from Texas.  Will Mitch be able to keep up his hidden identity or will he falter and make a huge mistake?

Due to Mitch’s devious actions and all too fake persona, he has turned to drugs to cope and the drugs are clouding his thinking.  He soon becomes paranoid, believing his life is in danger and ends up shooting his gardener.  But when the dead Mexican turns up, game warden John Marlin and law enforcement officials are on the case.  As Marlin begins checking into the murder a new series of events begin taking place, these events may bring Mitch down as well as the NWA.

Rehder has well developed characters, a strong story line with a very good plot as well as sub-plots.  He has created some unexpected twists that will keep you guessing.  Rehder does not take an extreme position on questions of gun control and he pokes fun at both sides equally in the book.  He presents a comical crime fiction series, that is humorous and entertaining.

It was a great pleasure to review such a witty crime fiction series.  I now need to get the other four books in this series.  This was the first title I have reviewed from this author and now am hooked.  If your looking for a humorous and entertaining read I highly recommend picking up a copy of Gun Shy as it is an enjoyable read.

I believe this deserves a big star with 5 points, (here I am trying to be humorous).  A definite 5 stars!