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To Die in Kanab (Jared Buck)

por Jack Nelson

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Death. It haunts the red-rock canyons of Southern Utah, claiming the daring who forget what stalks them. Over seventy years ago, it claimed its most famous victim, the young Everett Ruess, poet, artist, and adventurer. Ever after, the curious have been seeking answers to the mystery of his fate. As the Sheriff of Kane County, it's Jared Buck's job to keep tourists alive and safe as they wander the rugged desert. When a group of Californians show up claiming they are going to make a blockbuster movie out of the affair - and solve the mystery at the same time - Sheriff Buck warns them that they are in over their heads. Determined to go through with their plans, they immediately anger the locals with their prying questions and arrogant assumptions. Then, when someone takes several shots at the group, Jared finds himself in an investigation that explodes into a full-blown crime scene when one member of the group ends up dead in the motel parking lot. Soon, it's Jared who's in over his head as he takes on the murder investigation, continues as Sheriff to deal with the rising problems in his district, and manage legal and political problems of his own. In the midst of all this, he finds himself being sucked into the mystery of the Everett Ruess affair as he uncovers answers that were hidden long ago. from the San Francisco Bay area to the wild tangle of cliffs and sky of southern Utah, Jared seeks the elusive facts of both deaths as well as answers to questions of his own. Will the land yield her secrets? Or are some things better left buried . . .' One thing is for certain: Jared never could have known where his search would lead him, or the choices he would have to make before the end.… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porbriannad84, slojudy, ecurb, gypsysmom, sylvanfae
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Enter the lazy writer.

The books I value most are those that are well-researched, appropriately detailed, and well written. The writing here is not the worst I've read; it's pedestrian, often including too much repetition and unnecessary words, and there is no suspense that I could find. What I found seriously lacking was accuracy and detail.

A group of people rides into Kanab with the intent of checking out the surrounding area for the purpose of making a film about the disappearance of a young backpacker many years ago. The young man was well known because of his odd habits and his clear dedication to nature. Many letters survive to tell much of his tale, but not the ending. The movie crew swoops into the office of the sheriff, Jared Buck, looking for assistance and information. They say they will make the movie if the banker with them approves a loan for it, and the banker does seem enthusiastic.

NObody seems to be aware that one must obtain permits to make movies in Kanab as well as in any of the Federal lands nearby. It is assumed that they can just do it.

When one of the crew is killed by two gunshots in the middle of the night, outdoors, there is an assumption that some transient drug runner or other thief did the deed, that it was opportunistic. Jared is not so sure but he relied mostly on instinct. In fact, throughout the book he is driven by something not feeling right. There is very little detail in what people tell him and his questions are vague. When asked about progress he says the investigation is moving along or that they are following up on leads. Vagueness predominates.

Other items: the county prosecutor is on Jared's case, and I recall the Attorney General gets into it, too. They say their reputations are on the line. But these offices don't oversee sheriffs and are not responsible for investigating murders.

Nelson clearly loves Kanab and the nearby public lands. Yet he makes excuses for the cattle ranchers who overgraze the land. Public land. He lets the ranchers spout out untruths without correcting them, and comes close to demonizing the Bureau of Land Management for being too hard on the ranchers. It is well known that the BLM bends over backwards to accommodate ranchers.

One thing we hear in this book (and in real life) is the cattle ranchers saying that the BLM knows nothing about the land and nothing about cattle. The ranchers still accuse mountain lions of killing their herds and say that grazing is good for the environment. The facts contradict these statements. Actual studies show that mountain lions and other predators kill far fewer herd animals than ranchers say, and that grazing destroys native plants, which provide erosion protection and habitat for native species. The fact that the BLM allows grazing at all is not protective of our federal lands. The greater public deserves better. Why do a small number of ranchers take precedence?

Lazy writing, few details, even about the surrounding natural beauty, make this barely worth the two stars I'm giving it.

( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
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Death. It haunts the red-rock canyons of Southern Utah, claiming the daring who forget what stalks them. Over seventy years ago, it claimed its most famous victim, the young Everett Ruess, poet, artist, and adventurer. Ever after, the curious have been seeking answers to the mystery of his fate. As the Sheriff of Kane County, it's Jared Buck's job to keep tourists alive and safe as they wander the rugged desert. When a group of Californians show up claiming they are going to make a blockbuster movie out of the affair - and solve the mystery at the same time - Sheriff Buck warns them that they are in over their heads. Determined to go through with their plans, they immediately anger the locals with their prying questions and arrogant assumptions. Then, when someone takes several shots at the group, Jared finds himself in an investigation that explodes into a full-blown crime scene when one member of the group ends up dead in the motel parking lot. Soon, it's Jared who's in over his head as he takes on the murder investigation, continues as Sheriff to deal with the rising problems in his district, and manage legal and political problems of his own. In the midst of all this, he finds himself being sucked into the mystery of the Everett Ruess affair as he uncovers answers that were hidden long ago. from the San Francisco Bay area to the wild tangle of cliffs and sky of southern Utah, Jared seeks the elusive facts of both deaths as well as answers to questions of his own. Will the land yield her secrets? Or are some things better left buried . . .' One thing is for certain: Jared never could have known where his search would lead him, or the choices he would have to make before the end.

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813.6 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century

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