There are two primary storylines in this 561-page novel and for the most part, each exists independent of the other until the twisting, shocking conclusion. One storyline involves Mama and her daughter known as “Farm Girl.” Educationally and financially impoverished, they drift from place to place on Mama's whim as she does farm chores in exchange for food, a place to sleep, and a little money. They wind up on the Welk farm and end up staying for far longer than they planned as an emotional bond is made between them and the elderly Jefferson Welk.
The other storyline involves Darrin George Righter who lives with his much older brother, Frank, on the family farm in rural Nebraska. As a teenager, Darin caused problems and didn't seem to have inherited Frank's love for the farm, work ethic, or ability to act responsibly. After graduating from College, a lack of resources and a lack of employment forced Darin back to the family farm he hated so much.
Eventually, Darrin gets a job at a local bank and before long hatches a devious plan to begin stealing from bank customers. At roughly the same time, Jefferson begins to teach Farm Girl the basics as best as he can while they all become closer and closer. As months pass and he accumulates victims, Darin temporarily crosses paths with Jefferson and Farm Girl, causing the death eventually of Jefferson as well as Farm Girl to go on the run forgetting everything Mama ever told her, before Darrin's own storyline splits off again.
This report prepared by Kevin R. Tipple
Global Authors, 2003
Darin Righter knows that farm life is for those inferior to him. He plans to escape Kidwell, Nebraska and all these losers to attain a luxurious lifestyle envied by the rich and famous. Darin may have illusions of grandeur, but he understands that to achieve his objective he needs funding, which in his mind equates to stomping on people including family to gain easy money.
He begins his quest by accepting an accounting job with the First People's Bank of Sharpin that gives him insider information. Burglaries and murder occur, but is Darin a Lady Macbeth type willing to break the law to achieve his ambition? Though the rural law chief Simmons will do his best to solve the “Neat Nick” crimes, he is a product of his society in which the color of one's skin led to a hate crime that though two generations removed still lingers in the collective memory of everyone.
BLACK ROSEBUD is a powerful crime tale that provides readers with a slice of rural Midwest. Though exciting, the shrewdly designed investigation plays a support role to the relationships between residents of the county; the audience will feel like a Cornhusker tasting the dust of Nebraska's farming community. Readers will welcome this suspenseful story that uses individual and community de facto prejudice to add depth to the tale. Those who prefer a sleek crime thriller will probably be better suited elsewhere; anyone who takes delight in a minuscule look at people in a community where crimes have happened will appreciate this book and seek its predecessor, HAVE NO MERCY.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner