Little Greed Men
by Kym O'Connell-Todd and Mark Todd
Review by Steve Sawicki
Raspberry Creek Books Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780985135232
Date: 25 April 2013 List Price $17.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Silverville, Colorado is a quiet little town struggling to survive numerous transitions from silver mining to the modern era, and mostly unsuccessfully. Buford Price plans on changing all that, with the help of Earl Bob Jackson, noted UFOlogist. Price's plan is to build on a local story of UFO visitation and turn Silverville into a mecca for all those who pursue the alien.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, Earl Bob is killed coming through one of the infamous mountain passes during a snow storm. The unfortunate part is that Earl Bob is now dead. The fortunate part is that he was killed by Billy Noble, fleeing con artist and womanizer. Billy soon finds himself square in the middle of one of the biggest cons of his life and the perfect person to make it all happen.
Then there is Grady the crusty rancher and community voice of reason who has to deal with a new age neighbor and her personal Native American medicine man. Everything mixes together in ways barely imaginable and often humorous until it seems that everyone is connected to everyone else in some way by some secret.
This is book one of the Silverville Saga. The Todd's have managed to capture completely the charm, the dilemma, and the insanity inherent in small western towns trying to figure out exactly what they are now that their initial reason for being is gone. It takes a certain kind of character to move to and stay in one of these places and, needless to say, write about them as well. The book captures the tug of war that goes on between the traditionalists and those who want to see change take place and does so with a fine helping of humor. The book works on a number of different levels: as a novel with a precise beginning, middle and end; as a humorous evaluation of sensibilities; and as social commentary on the adapting of an era.
I enjoyed the book. The pacing was a bit slow in places for me but that's a personal preference more than a knock on the book itself. The characters were finely drawn and well placed, the plotting was very well done--with a number of surprises that you don't see coming--and the story itself is fun and interesting.
If you have ever spent any time in a small, western town in the rockies you will recognize these folks. A fun read. Recommended. Keep your eye out for All Plucked Up, the second entry in the series.