256 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
The Osage Rose
By Tom Holm
The University of Arizona Press
Corrupt lawmen, insatiable businessmen, and an oil boom on Indian land. This is the milieu in which Tom Holm sets his gritty and provocative detective novel. Life is looking easy for J. D. Daugherty, a crusty ex-cop who has set up his own PI firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma, just after World War I. J. D. expects to make a straightforward living off the intrigues of the city's wealthy socialites, but then Rose Chichester, a privileged young white woman, runs off with Tommy Ruffle, a young Indian who is heir to Osage oil. Hired by Rose's father to track down the young pair, J. D. and his associate, a Cherokee named Hoolie Smith, find themselves caught in the cross fire of a deadly scheme. When Tommy turns up murdered and with Rose still missing, J. D. and Hoolie must navigate a twisting maze of deception, race riots, and gun battles in their unrelenting search for the truth--a search that ultimately leads to an intimate secret no one suspected. Tom Holm writes a true private-eye mystery, yet he entwines the story's layers of conspiracy and deceit with the realities of prejudice and hatred that existed during the early years of Oklahoma statehood. Rooted firmly in its time, Holm's well-researched novel tells a complex and compelling story of individuals struggling to find justice at any cost in a world still caught between modernity and its Wild West legacy.
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