Number 3 in the series of ‘Flintlock’ and either the writer changed or somebody got in a big hurry to hit a deadline. One things for sure – The writer does not know swamps!
The over all story is good, but far simpler in telling than the previous two. Not helping is my reading great authors since reading the two. Folks like Walter Lippmann, Mark Greaney and John D. MacDonald.
I am so glad I read John D.’s ‘Condominium’ before reading this book. Odds of someone doing that is extremely low. The odd thing is that ‘Kill or Die’ is basically ‘Condominium’. Just that all of the characters have guns. There is the community living in the swamp, a ruthless developer out to wipe out the cypress swamp and the oncoming hurricane. The story was eerily similar.
The writing of the cypress swamp really bugged me. Obviously the writer has never stepped foot in one. I don’t know much about west of the Mississippi and all of the rocks and dirt in the west. Not my thing. But, here in Florida, I know swamps and like them a lot.
It’s supposedly late Summer in a Southern swamp. All of the characters acted comfortable. Even the most die hard Southerner sweats like crazy in late August. But most especially someone like Flintlock, used to the dry western air, would be having a hell of a time adjusting to the thick humidity.
Also, where are the bugs??? Now, most healthy swamps actually have few bugs. But this is described as home to many people. Thus, the swamp should be filled with all kinds of bugs. Few appear throughout the swamp scenes.
The BIGGEST omission, and a huge strike in my book, are the cypress knees. No one is just going to go trotting out into a swamp they don’t know and not, either, navigate around the knees or trip over them. NOT ONCE are knees mentioned. That’s impossible, for a cypress can not survive without the attached knees jutting out for air.
This is the least clever of the three Flintlocks. Rather a standard story with some excellent enhancing elements like the balloon, the odd mid-eastern valet and the description of Evangeline. The odd mysticism continues in this book, but not with the magical flair of the first two. The characters are very well done and typical of a Johnstone Clan book. The settings are lacking this time around, especially with the noted above. The ending appears to be multiple chapters tacked on, I guess, to increase page count. This is the shortest of the Flintlock series by 100 pages.
Proof to me that this is surely a different writer is that Flintlock is not described as in the other two books. The tattoo is only described on his neck and not running from the side of his face to his chest. Also, Flintlock is not described by his shorter stature or mustache. Also, O’Hara’s character has greatly altered to being more of a side kick than the drifter described in the first two.
This third book continues the trend of having a horrible cover. Still not Flintlock on the cover. Also, the background in know way looks like a Louisiana swamp.
Can’t believe I’ve caught up with a Johnstone Clan title! First series I’ve read all that are available.
Bottom l;ine: i recommend this book. 6 out of ten points.
From Chattahoochee, I quickly made my way to Torreya State Park, near Bristol, to get travel and hiking information and to add a second live video using the new Facebook option. Here, I take the north trail from the Gregory House where the six cannon encampment had been for the confederacy during the Civil War.
You can plan a trip to Torreya State Park here: https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Torreya
Many thanks to my pals of many years, Russell and Alice Sue Noell for their hospitality this weekend. Great vittles and socializing! Another dear pal, Debbie Schafer, called while I was there exclaiming, “You’re socializing!!??!” It is an unusual occurrence.
Right now dashing off some artwork before I get home!
All inked and ready for watercolor!
This newest painting is set in an exclusive area of Brevard County in Florida. Thanks to, my friends, the Cronkhite family I was able to take photos in the area. I used those to construct this illustration. More to come!
The finished painting can be seen during the 4th Anniversary open house at The Knowledge Exchange December 4th in Palm Bay, Florida.
Just finished a little less than 2 hour Cartoon Hunker Down session and knocked out cartoons for Swampy’s Florida, editorial cartoons and a pencil drawing for a children’s book. More to come this weekend.
Meant to post these earlier! This one of 5 paintings I did for the speakers at an event our group, Silver Springs Alliance, had back in May. As each speaker spoke I illustrated what they were speaking about. LAter I added watercolor.
Here’s the one for, Florida folk singer/Sierra Club leader/all around good guy, Whitey Markle. He covered a great deal of territory and it was fun for me, knowing the area so well, to poke further fun at it all in the artwork. Each painting is given to the speakers as a “Thank you!” for coming out and helping more Florida citizens learn more about our water problems in our great state.
(Been meaning to post more, but have been on the road again! Lots going on the next few days. I should be posting a lot more.)
Here’s the color version of the drawing I posted last night!
Trilby is strolling through the woods to a picnic and is bothered by an intruding alien & his transportation device. The lone extraterrestrial inquires as to the nearest burger joint. Trilby points the way to the The Burger Inn, though, in truth, he’s not quite sure where he is at the moment.