Having reviewed the prequel to this book called Smoke and Murders (March 2009), I was pleased to have a chance to read and review Three Trailers Down. The prequel fictionalized the true story of the Hodges family, brutally murdered in Vinton, Virginia in 1994. Three Trailers Down picks up the story in the months following the conviction of Adam Bracket for the slayings.
Author Douglas Chandler Graham spends the first dozen or so chapters introducing us to new characters and reacquainting us with a few from Smoke. There is no clear protagonist or villain as this is truly an ensemble cast of intriguing, well-developed players.
We return to small town Virginia near Vineyard, a resort town called Bondurant where the Bondurant family serve only the wealthy elite in the Bondurant Lodge. Some twenty years previous, a hit man killed three people there, and sixteen year-old Amanda Bondurant ran away, never to be seen or heard from again.
From the well-to-do of the Lodge, we visit Newberry Suggs and his rundown trailer park. Despite the reputation of trailer parks and the people who reside in them, Suggs does his best to keep respectable tenants in and the police out.
Vineyard Police Lieutenant Bill Kenny has just been fired after years of illegal and corrupt practises. After the suspicious death of his wife, he finds his way to Bondurant Lodge for the possibility of work. State police inspector, Bernard "Bear" McNutt, the cop responsible for the arrest and conviction of Adam Brackett in the prequel, is investigating the death of Bill's wife, Camilla Kenny.
This book could have easily been called Sex and Murder, as so many of the players are either sleeping with someone or killing them. Bill Kenny is hired to find Amanda Bondurant and her jealous husband is set on finding her as well. A restaurateur with mob connections puts a hit man on Kenny's tail. All the players make their way to the Suggs Mobile Home Village where Amanda has been in hiding as she considers contacting her nearby family.
Author Graham sets us up for a gripping climax at the trailer park and doesn't disappoint. He uses tension, conflict, realistic dialogue and a captivating collection of unique characters to weave an entertaining and satisfying, quick read. I recommend Three Trailers Down. If you enjoyed Smoke and Murders you won't want to miss the exciting conclusion.
Xlibris Corporation (October 21, 2009)
by William Potter for Reader's Choice.com