Author Rick Gavin takes us on a rollicking tour of the backcountry of the Mississippi Delta in his debut novel, Ranchero. The Ranchero in question is a bright pink, 1969 Ford that main character, repo man Nick Reid, borrows from his landlady. Unfortunately while in possession of the mint condition car, he tries to repossess a TV from Delta loser Percy Dwayne who responds with a shovel to Nick's head. Percy takes off in the Ranchero and, upon waking, Nick enlists his best friend Desmond to help him pursue the thief. The result is a crazy ride across the Mississippi Delta that allows the reader to meet a series of unforgettable characters in settings that the tourist bureau of Mississippi would never suggest. Told in the dialect of the backcountry, enlivened with the unique outlook of the locals, and filled with outrageously funny encounters, Ranchero is a road-trip to remember, a crime novel where the crime takes a backseat to the revelation of a whole sub-culture with its own code for survival.
Recommended by Carol Brannock