Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Devilliers County Blues 1972 by John W. Cassell

Published by Inkwater Press
My first thought on finishing this book was, Wow! what a ride! The author had me in his grip right from the start. Not only is this a high powered action suspense thriller, but it seems so real somehow, though listed as fiction. Perhaps that is partly attributed to the name of the main protagonist, John Cassell, the same as the author. This may also be ascribed to the feeling of the building of terror and suspense. Whatever the reason for the name as main character, it certainly worked to his advantage, because it did make the story his.

John W. Cassell the author has delved deeply into the world of black ops, conspiracy, evil, greed, and terror. A world where everything operates inside out and eats away at our very souls. A world of organized crime, lawmen on the take, FBI policies and politics. In fact, so much rings true, I'm sure his is drawing a lot from personal knowledge in one form or another, perhaps from 3 or 4 instances. The book begins with Cassell returning home from war-torn Morocco, deeply mourning the death of his fighting partner/true love, Nancy. It is January 4, 1972 and he will soon discover what he has just returned from is nowhere near the extent to which he will be fighting for his life and sanity over the year ahead, as he decides to take a car trip wherever it takes him.

The author has been very consistently in time and place, even speech of the era. Nancy had been working for a multi-millionaire J.B. Fischer before she was killed in Morocco, and was privy to a lot of sensitive information, including incriminating ledgers Fischer had given her to put in her safety deposit box, knowing he was her only beneficiary should she become deceased before him. Therefore it was with real trepidation and fear that he discovered her will had been changed, with John Cassell as residuary devisee. This means that John will receive the contents of the safety deposit box along with anything else that has not been mentioned. So far, John has not been made aware of this.

A frightening scenario is hatched up between Fischer and his cohorts, some very nasty people with loads of resources at their disposal to carry out their evil plan. They can not bump him off within a year because of the year provision. What can they do? Well might you ask! First, Fisher makes Cassell a partner to insure that he will be able to obtain the ledgers on his death, which of course can't happen until the following year.

John, totally aware of none of this except the offer of a partnership, continues his drive and suddenly wakes up in an insane asylum. He soon meets 3 other very diverse occupants who have similar stories, and still not understanding what's going on they draw together in a very strange alliance. It is from this point that their world spins entirely out of control. Here the real evil lurks. Here the plan goes into effect. Here the plan almost works. But unbeknownst to these four they do have two friends working on their behalf undercover. Without this assistance, the story would end here.

This book revels in fear techniques, humor, bravery, and brother/sistership, a lasting friendship, teammates to the end, whatever it may be. Tension, anxiety, terror, and humiliation build up daily as their thinking capacity goes down. If you want a wild ride, roller-coaster action, unique methodology, love of friends, and dire consequences ending in a huge, over-the-top interference of an ending, something that will blow your mind, this book is for you. Relax when our protagonists relax, prepare with them, laugh when they laugh, fight with them, mourn with them, but never forget their strength and their bond. Amazing book.

1 comment:

John W. Cassell said...

Many many thanks Betty for what is my truly favorite review. I was very happy to see it here!
John Cassell