Kenneth Kirkeby’s Red Stick One

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Kirkeby for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: It has only been a few years since Virgil Cleary returned from Viet-Nam. The closest thing he has ever had to a father, Tom Jay, has gotten Virgil a job with the Florida Wildlife Service. Now, tragedy has struck. Tom Jay has been killed while he was in the field. Virgil believes, rightly, that he is the best tracker for the job of catching up with the killer. Not that his superiors are willing to let him go after the killer. What they don’t know, won’t hurt anyone, right? At least for a little while anyway.

Story Telling: Mr. Kirkeby told this one in five parts. We have the benefit of each section being well enclosed while leading into the next. It was a nice transition.

Likes: We stay with Virgil, but we also get to see what those from the Sheriff’s office and The Wildlife Office are thinking when they hear about Virgil’s exploits. Virgil is willing to work any job, or take a ride in almost anyway that he can in order to catch up with Luten.

Dislikes: There were a couple of problems in that lessened my enjoyment in this book. Mr. Kirkeby wrote out Luten’s and Virgil’s accents…come to think of it, that was for all of Florida’s residents that made an appearance. Also, how to put this gently?, Virgil’s and Michelle’s…um…happier moments, uh, got a little too intense for my tastes.

Favorite Character: This would be Tom Jay, even though he went on to his eternal rest rather soon into the story. He proves the old adage that it takes a real man to be a dad. He took the time to teach, correct, protect, and just spend some bonding time with Virgil.

Favorite Quote: From Tom Jay: “You come down there in the morning and maybe you kin work off some ‘a that fine.” It’s the wisdom he showed here. He wasn’t trying to demean Virgil, just trying to show him the best way to live.

Favorite Scene: I appreciated the part where Luten and Virgil were on the rickety old bridge. It made for a beautiful climax.

Conclusion: It was a great book. The accents weren’t too hard to decipher, they just slowed the pace down a bit. This one made my library: I hope it makes yours as well. I look forward to Mr. Kirkeby’s next novel.


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