"The law and circumstances never leave Sonny Burton alone for long. As the Great Depression lingers, a circus camps outside of Wellington, bringing with it suspicion and rumors of stolen cattle to feed the animals. The local Texas Ranger office is set to close, pushing Sonny's son, Jesse, out of a job. And Aldo Hernandez shows up on Sonny's doorstep asking for help. Aldo's cousin, Rafael, got into a fight and caused another man, Leo Dozier, to lose his spot in the CCC (Civilian Conversation Corps). Aldo thinks the sheriff is behind the trouble, and Sonny agrees to look into the situation-which thrusts him and Jesse into an investigation that exposes unknown corruption in his small town, and bigotry and hate that leads to a string of brutal murders. Edith Grantley has written Sonny several letters and has not received any answers. She is encouraged by one of her boarders to make the five-hundred-mile drive north to find out where she stands with Sonny after their brief relationship. On the way, Edith encounters a man set on terrorizing her for the entire journey. A cat and mouse game of survival ensues, and Edith is left to consider how much she really cares for Sonny, whether her feelings are worth pursuing, and if her life is worth risking her heart for. As Sonny and Edith reach out for each over the miles, they are both confronted by their fears, life and death situations, and an unforgiving world that seems intent on keeping them apart forever"-
Winter Seeks Out the Lonely is a smashing end to author Larry D. Sweazy's Sonny Burton trilogy. Burton is a one-armed, widowed and retired ex-war veteran and ex-Texas Ranger, who just can't help getting dragged back into mystery and murder in mid-30s depression era Texas.
Here we have a dual narrative. Burton is asked by a Hispanic friend to make enquiries regarding his relative who has been locked up. Aldo Hernandez is concerned for his cousin, who has been caught up in the local sheriff's scheming. A fight with a white man has him fearing he will get railroaded. Sonny reluctantly decides to do what he can for the man and upsets the sheriff as a result. Other happenings occur and a bad situation gets worse.
In the meantime, a widow, Edith Grantley who found comfort with Sonny in the previous series entry has decided to take the bull by the horns and find out whether she and Sonny can find love and a future together at a relatively late time in their lives, or whether solitary and unfulfilled twilight years beckon. A perilous journey fraught with danger stands between her and fulfillment or rejection.
Throw a travelling circus into the mix and we have heady stew of racism, discrimination, desperation, poverty, scapegoat-ery, isolation, family strife and violence; offset by generosity, kindness, decency, bravery, friendship and care.
There's a fantastic sense of place and history, supplemented by a cast of damaged and injured characters who retain the best traits and behaviours that humanity has to offer. A difficult time of depression is richly described and brought to life by Sweazy.
I think I liked this one best of all out of the three Sonny Burton books. No breakneck pace, plenty of excitement, tension and incident and an outcome that didn't diappoint, populated by characters who you care about and feel an emotional investment about what happens to them.
Ticks in all the boxes.
5 from 5
A Thousand Falling Crows and The Lost are the Last to Die. A standalone novel Where I Can See You and the first two in his excellent Majorie Trumaine series - See Also Murder and See Also Deception.
Read - September, 2021
Published - 2021
Page count - 290
Source - review copy from author
Format - PDF read on laptop