“Bayou City Burning” by D.B. Borton – Review

Houston in 1961 was still considered a backwater Texas town most notable for its oil-rich barons, the sultry heat and humidity and the size of the mosquitoes that flourished on the Gulf Coast. Segregation was still an accepted way of life in the south and the civil rights movement was only in the prenatal stage. It is in this setting that D.B. Borton brings us “Bayou City Burning.” The two protagonists are Private Investigator Harry Lark and his daughter Dizzy, a precocious 12 year old budding entrepreneur and amateur sleuth who has learned most of Harry’s tricks of the trade. Dizzy and her pals are running a lost-and-found out of a garage when they’re “hired” to find a missing dad who was supposedly killed in a train wreck. Harry was hired to tail a couple of out-of-towners who think Houston would be the ideal place to build a NASA facility. As the two parallel investigations progress they eventually come together, which makes for an interesting storyline. Harry has a droll sense of humor and a penchant for getting into some dicey situations. Dizzy is a delightful chip-off-the-old-block and mature way beyond her years. Think Nancy Drew on steroids. Even as convoluted as the two plot lines are, Borton intertwines them and they seamlessly come together. It works and it works well. Best of all though is Borton’s prose. Her writing is so well crafted, with subtle but meaningful metaphors that transport the reader into the narrative without force or artifice. This is writing so lyrical it fairly sings. Five stars.

My thanks to Net Galley for providing an ARC of “Bayou City Burning” scheduled for publication June 20, 2019.

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