This novel is by a Minnesota author. It turned out to be better than I expected. It was chock-full of period detail, and that level of authenticity woven into the story brought the rest of the narrative up along with it. The characters were well drawn, and the dialogue was a bit weak at times but saved by entertaining one-liners. The portrait of evil drawn in the main villian got better as the book went along. This paragraph is about a young man’s confusion as well as his attraction to a woman he’s just met. It’s the most sparkling paragraph in the entire book. The rest of the time, the author’s artistry is not on display as much as it is here. He seems to have particularly enjoyed writing this scene. From meandering beginnings, the plot tightens up until the tense, riveting finish. Like I said, better than I had anticipated. Here’s the quote. Enjoy.
“Turn your back, asshole!”
“Sorry.” Besides sorry, he was also breathless, stunned, aroused, and very confused. Here was a young woman who actually used foul language but who was also so scrupulous about being clean that she bathed in an icy-cold creek. And she had kindly given him a towel before that. Clearly, she was a woman of great mystery and contradiction. She was nice. She was sweet. She was possibly wicked, with a hint of a violent past. But she was also modest. And in her own way, she was gorgeous, at least from the back. He concentrated on standing her watch and hoped his erection wasn’t too obvious. (Richard A. Thompson, Big Wheat, p.69)