Up the Side of the Head

Precis of Geronimo Hotshot, Robert Whitehill’s new novel.

Ben Blackshaw’s wife, LuAnna, has been shot and lies in a permanent coma on Smith Island. Blackshaw has a disastrous falling out with his best friend, Knocker Ellis. Licking his wounds alone on Lethe Island, Blackshaw resolves to quit the Chesapeake. To his disgust, he soon uncovers evidence of the brutal lynching of a young black boy. Police fail to capture the murderers despite the evidence Blackshaw turns over; Blackshaw himself becomes a suspect. He deploys west to Arizona in search of the killers, and discovers an encampment of armed ranchers, along with a one-percenter biker gang, and a cult of white supremacist vigilantes who have all sworn to stop the flood of undocumented immigrants crossing the Mexico line. But everyone hides deadly secrets, including a biologic Weapon of Mass Destruction, the bizarre shoot-down of a Customs and Border Protection helicopter, and the disappearance of its crew. The vigilante camp itself is surrounded by a raging wildfire. Blackshaw teams with Del, an Apache member of the Geronimo Interagency Hotshot Crew, who was detailed to battle the blaze. Together they patrol in on the gathering of monsters. Part of their treacherous journey takes Blackshaw and Del through a cavern system of strange, wondrous, and lethal beauty. In the end, fire and hate threaten to consume everyone; the light of the inferno reveals that Blackshaw might be no better than the quary he hunts.  Amazon.com

whitehill geronimoFrom the book:

“In stark counterpoint to the abject misery on the victim’s face were the shit-eating grins stretched across the visages of his torturers. Taking in one last look before averting his eyes, Blackshaw noticed Colquette’s other hand in the photograph-in which he clutched the scalp.”

whitehill faceRobert Whitehill prefers to include themes from today’s problems, human trafficking, government manipulation of media, white supremacists, racism.  Geronimo Hotshot was just named to the Conversations Book Club Top 100 Books of 2015.  His books are reminiscent of Lee Childs and provide a character of the stature of Jack Reacher. Here’s a man alone on the road with a sense of the right and will to make it happen.  His short chapters are a stylistic win and his language betrays a thorough knowledge of his characters. Most of all they portray the Eastern Shore characters with the humor and steadfast accuracy  of the long loved Eastern Shore classic  Sotweed Factor  by John Barth..

whitehill show

Robert works the shows and has plans to make movies of his characters. Hatline Productions is developing these. http://www.hatlineprodcution.com/




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