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Scared Money    by James Hime order for
Scared Money
by James Hime
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Scared Money is the sequel to James Hime's The Night of the Dance, which was an Edgar Award Finalist. Again we meet ex-Texas Ranger Jeremiah Spur, who agrees to help the CIA in a missing persons case. Deputy Sheriff Clyde Thomas gets into the act investigating drug-related shootings.

The dialogue seesaws back and forth between black jive talk and Texas good ole' boy rhetoric. At first, that confused me but I soon got in the swing of it and marveled at the author's ability not only to keep the plot straight but also to track who's speaking what dialect. Add in a Hungarian back story and you've got the makings of an intricate plot - also an exciting one, fast-paced with tight writing. Several of the characters visit Vienna. Excellent descriptions had me wishing I was a part of the story. Haven't been there - yet - but would sure like to go. Speaking of characters, Scared Money is full of fast-talking dangerous people, as well as the sensitive ex-ranger who turns down a romp in the hay with several women at different times because he still loves his wife of thirty-eight years!

Hime's one-liners are priceless: 'would have thought he had enough money to burn a wet mule'; 'most of them would rather peel and eat a skunk than truck with cops'; 'flawless teeth so bright they look like they could cause skin cancer'. His view on mortality is beautifully written and one I tend to agree with. Scared Money is a well-written book that picks up speed as the pages are turned 'til the reader is breathless.

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