Cast a Long Shadow

Cast a Long Shadow, an e-book assumed published, copyright and written by Kwen D. Griffeth.

The reader is introduced to the protagonist, ‘Bad Bobby Trent’, son of a Montana County Sheriff as he is engaged in a fist fight at a popular bar, somewhat distant from the area’s main town of Wapiti. The bar attracted men with occupations such as cowboys, sheep men, roustabouts and similar and the women who enjoyed their company. Bobby was a local, almost legend, star high school athlete who after a short stint in college was a popular Rodeo Cowboy with a devil-may-care attitude and a smile and piercing eyes that women found irrestible. His father arrives, jails him in just one more effort to make him ‘grow-up’ and attain his real potential. Shortly thereafter, a trailer truck suspected of carrying heroin is disabled passing through the area and must stay for repairs. Suspiciously it catches fire which destroys any evidence. The sheriff dies with a gunshot to the head and rumor suggests suicide because he was involved. The story moves into high gear with Bobby pulling out all stops to find his killer and slowly maturing to be the person whom his father believed he could be. Along the way he is helped greatly by a Cheyenne Nation Chief who is an FBI criminal investigation training graduate and now Head of their Police Department as well other members of the nation, an old flame, a young woman police officer and several other interesting individuals. The tale is replete with unexpected twists as Bobby ‘goes-with-the-flow’ of what life offers until finally attaining enough maturity to realize that he still has much to learn.

Discussion: This is a most interesting story whose genre defies specific assignment and is filled with fascinatingly described characters. It has a western setting, but should NOT be characterized as a ‘western” per se. Fundamentally, this would appear to be more of a character study where each has a story contributory to the main plot that contains large elements of crime, mysticism, romance and suspense moving inexorably toward a somewhat unexpected finale. It is another well-written, unusual tale by this author that is difficult to put down.

5* Multi-genre character study difficult to put down.

The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election

The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election ISBN: 9781732511705 Moot Point Productions, copyright and written by Michael R. French.

The author has presented an ‘on-the-surface appearing’ simple story that follows a very intelligent young high school student with strong moral principles but totally naïveté with respect to politics as she challenges the charismatic favorite young man for election to the student body presidency. This seemingly impossible task appears even less attainable when she, with a team of only a few friends, actually realizes that her opponent’s team is a very successful, well-oiled machine that has been successful for some time. She has one other person to whom she listens intently and absorbs his lectures – the school’s rather revered history teacher who for several generations has been providing sensible advice along with his presentation of the importance of history as it repeats and is interpreted by one generation after another. Through his teachings and advice, complete understanding and approval by her parents, most intelligent decisions, AND unexpected information provided by an unknown cyber expert, she discovers that the success of her main opponent may not be simply because of he and his team’s abilities. Instead, he and his group are supported and secretly funded and advised by an organization that ostensibly has been established to aid struggling educational programs, but has another agenda in mind. When she ultimately makes great advances in her campaign, the organization approaches her with offers extremely difficult for her to turn down and the story continues to an interesting finale.

Discussion: The author has an excellent understanding of politics, its deceit, betrayal, treachery, intrigues, lying and often present, exhibition of blatant but more usually hidden, personal greed and other less worthy aspects of human thought patterns. Additionally his understanding of teen age children and their need to adjust to individual physical and mental changes while simultaneously attempting to deal with their peers in an environment that frequently can be surprisingly cruel, is quite admirable. He has set forth a story that provides an honest look at politics while stressing the importance of history, a much ignored important feature of today’s education, and coincidentally has provided a protagonist who projects strong moral courage and tenacity of purpose to overcome purportedly unbeatable odds and ‘make a difference’.

Summary: This is a fast moving, well-written story that those in their teens should thoroughly enjoy. Coincidentally, this book could be of interest to adults for the parallel it describes with respect to the horribly broken political system presently extant within the U.S. and perhaps could serve as a tool to be employed by teachers of young, and near adult, students.

5* A book young adults should enjoy and adults read – see discussion.