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Haint Blue

Carl Linke

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Philip-Forrest Publishing

Published : 2010

Copyright : Carl Linke 2010

ISBN-10 : PB 0-9827421-6-9
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-9827421-6-7

Publisher's Write-Up

In 1986, a novice businessman, Kip Drummond, rescued a sentimental landmark - the Lady's Island Oyster Factory - in Beaufort, South Carolina. But six years later, he finds himself pressured by corporate greed and paralyzed by Low Ccountry desperation.

On one side, a trio of predators from Philadelphia, spurred by plans to replace the rundown factory with a mega-million dollar waterfront development, enlists the aid of a local mole and an Italian connection to deliver a no-holds-barred squeeze for the sale.

On the opposite side, fuelled by rumours of the undisclosed sale of the factory, the restless Gullah workers prod their ex-Marine foreman, "Gunny" Brewer, to go head-to-head with Kip in an effort to squelch the deal, knowing his failure to stop it will cost them the livelihood that has sustained them for decades.

Caught in the maelstrom, Kip soft-pedals the relationship with his blond-bombshell wife, Sandi, who longs to return to her socialite life in Charleston and becomes a willing prey to an unexpected influence.

When Kip turns to his friends for advice, he finds himself at a table in a former slave's shack with Madam Ayanda, a tarot reader who channels Kip's energy through cards that unveil a secret Kip had fought desperately to conceal, but he would need to reveal to beat the hex on him.

Filled with century-old strife, passion, grisly violence, Liars tales, and local legends, Haint Blue lures the reader into the "pluff mud" and out of the South Carolina marshes in a compelling story of guilt, forgiveness, and hope.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Paul Lappen (310711) Rating (9/10)

Review by Paul Lappen
Rating 9/10
Set in present-day South Carolina, this novel is about a man pushed in several different directions at the same time. Hoodoo is one of those directions.

Kip Drummond is the owner of an oyster-processing plant in Beaufort, South Carolina. It's a ramshackle place, and a money loser, but it's also sitting on a very prime piece of real estate. That is why Taggett & Vystroon, an American subsidiary of a Japanese multi-national corporation, is pushing very hard to buy Drummond out.

The plant, full of rumours, is the only source of income for the older women who work there. Being poor, and Gullah (descended from slaves), there are no alternatives for them if the plant is sold. Gunny, the black manager of the plant, does some snooping in Drummond's office, and finds just enough evidence to make Drummond's repeated declarations that he has no intention of selling the plant hard to believe.

Things are no better for Drummond at home. His wife, Sandi, a native of Charleston, is a blond bombshell. She comes from Old Money, and is sick of the lack of parties and culture in Beaufort. Drummond has a terrible record of spending time with Chris, his stepson, along with attending his football games. There is always something to take care of at the plant. As if that wasn't enough, Drummond thinks that someone has put a hex on him (taken very seriously among the Gullah) to force him to sell.

He pays a couple of visits to a tarot card reader, an elderly woman who lives far away from anyone else. He finds a very specific playing card (not just any playing card) under the windshield wiper of his truck. His faithful dog is found butchered and dismembered. A major rainstorm, practically a hurricane, hits the area during one of Chris' football games. In all the confusion, Chris is missing; his parents can't help but fear the worst.

Drummond and his lawyer are called to Taggett & Vystroon's corporate offices in Philadelphia to negotiate the plant's sale. When Drummond gets back to Beaufort, he comes clean to Gunny about just how he got the money to buy the plant.

This is a very well-done story about a culture unique to most Americans. The author does a fine job putting the reader right in the middle of the story. Yes, it's worth reading.
Paul Lappen (31st July 2011)

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