Review & Giveaway: Ain’t Nobody Nobody by Heather Harper Ellett

 

AIN’T NOBODY
NOBODY
by
HEATHER HARPER ELLETT
  Genre: Murder Mystery / Southern Noir / Dark Humor
Publisher: Polis Books
Date of Publication: September 24, 2019
Number of Pages: 336
Scroll down for Giveaway!
Named a Best Debut of Fall/Winter 2019 by Library Journal, Ain’t Nobody Nobody is the story of a disgraced East Texas sheriff, his dead best friend’s surly teenage daughter, and a naive ranch hand who find unlikely redemption in a murdered hog hunter on a fence. 
 
Part Breaking Bad and part Faulkner, this tragi-comic mystery is perfect for readers who enjoy dark humor (think Fargo) and like their crime fiction with a literary flare. 
A Best Mystery of 2019 by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

I didn’t know what to make of the cover: a wild hog prancing across a sparsely starred night sky, but the title, Ain’t Nobody Nobody, sounded distinctly Southern. As a girl born and raised in Texas, I know that the South + wild hogs = guns, so I prepared myself for some violence.

Well, the book starts out with plenty of guns and no shortage of hog blood. If there is one thing I learned from reading this book, it’s that hogs love strawberry Kool-Aid. Don’t we all? Randy Mayhill struck me as a no-nonsense type of man who loves his dogs, so I took to him pretty quickly. However, you can like someone and not find the person very interesting at the same time. For reasons that I can’t place, I had a hard time caring about anyone for the first three or four chapters. When I went back and flipped through chapter five, I realized that we finally get some backstory on Randy and from that point on, everyone else is getting fleshed out and braided together into this really cool mystery.

Author Heather Harper Ellett has a great way with words and knows how to spin a story out nice and slow. I blame my initial reaction to this book to living in a world of instant gratification. But if you slow things down, take yourself back to 1996 (I still am not sure why the book was set in this time period), then you can enjoy a nice rumble along a back dirt road in a rickety old truck. I don’t know if you need to be a Southerner to appreciate Ellett’s turn of phrase, but I particularly loved descriptions such as a man considerate enough to stick to back roads when driving drunk, old men congregating at a feed store twice daily for decades, and an old granny with boobs down to her knees getting cuffed for marijuana.

The show Justified came to mind with that last description. As the story digs deeper and brings darkness to light, the pace quickens as the stakes are raised. By now Mayhill is trustworthy enough – he rescues dogs, so you have to trust him! – that you care about everyone that he cares about as well. When everything clicks into place, just when you think everything has been resolved, Ellett reveals her hand. And it is beautiful. Pull out of the fast lane for a weekend and hunker down with this book and a nice cold beverage.


 

Born and raised in East Texas, Heather Harper Ellett is a graduate of SMU and a therapist in private practice. She lives in Dallas with her husband and son.

 
 

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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
 THREE SIGNED HARDCOVER COPIES
  January 2-12, 2020

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1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Giveaway, Lone Star Book Blog Tours

One response to “Review & Giveaway: Ain’t Nobody Nobody by Heather Harper Ellett

  1. Kristine Hall

    Your last two paragraphs are GOLD. Exactly! Great review!

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