REVIEWED by Alexander
AUTHOR: Kim Fielding
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 8 hours, 55 minutes
NARRATOR: K.C. Kelly
RELEASE DATE: December 22, 2015
A drifter since his teens, Jimmy Dorsett has no home and no hope. What he does have is a duffel bag, a lot of stories, and a junker car. Then one cold desert night, he picks up a hitchhiker and ends up with something more: a letter from a dying man to the son he hasn’t seen in years.
On a quest to deliver the letter, Jimmy travels to Rattlesnake, a small town nestled in the foothills of the California Sierras. The centerpiece of the town is the Rattlesnake Inn, where the bartender is handsome former cowboy Shane Little. Sparks fly, and when Jimmy’s car gives up the ghost, Shane gets him a job as handyman at the inn.
Both within the community of Rattlesnake and in Shane’s arms, Jimmy finds an unaccustomed peace. But it can’t be a lasting thing. The open road continues to call, and surely Shane – a strong, proud man with a painful past and a difficult present – deserves better than a lying vagabond who can’t stay put for long.
Although I found Rattlesnake to drag at the beginning, the story did eventually become more engaging especially as Jimmy became part of the Rattlesnake community and of Shane’s life. I would actually say that the best part of the story was the relationship build up, because honestly, Rattlesnake really didn’t have much going for it.
From the beginning, I felt empathy for Jimmy, even though he was the epitome of the worthless drifter. Offering a ride to someone worse off than himself, following through with the trip to Rattlesnake, proving that he was more than he first appeared. Shane came onto the scene all smiles and energy, and it is later that we discover that beneath the smile and good nature lies a man in pain, both mental and physical.
To see the two men gradually come together was interesting, especially because it was so gradual and organic. Jimmy’s constant need to flee versus his need to keep promises, to delay what he figured was the inevitable in particular captured my attention and had me constantly wondering if and when would he finally flee Rattlesnake.
Kelly’s performance was good, I particularly liked how he portrayed his characters, but found his narrative voice a bit flat, and since the narration was so prominent, I found it tiresome after a while. He maintained very good character consistency and the production value was also good, with no obvious glitches or concerns on my part.