Sounders of Hogs and Everything Else – My Book Review

AIN’T NOBODY
NOBODY
by
HEATHER HARPER ELLETT
Genre: Murder Mystery / Southern Noir / Dark Humor
Publisher: Polis Books
Date of Publication: September 24, 2019
Number of Pages: 336
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Named a Best Debut of Fall/Winter 2019 by Library Journal, Ain’t Nobody Nobody is the story of a disgraced East Texas sheriff, his dead best friend’s surly teenage daughter, and a naive ranch hand who find unlikely redemption in a murdered hog hunter on a fence. 
 
Part Breaking Bad and part Faulkner, this tragi-comic mystery is perfect for readers who enjoy dark humor (think Fargo) and like their crime fiction with a literary flare. 
A Best Mystery of 2019 by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“He nudged his snout at the softness of Birdie’s thigh, and looked at her as if to say, “Let’s go, Birdie Woods. I’ve been waiting for you.”

I am stating this right off – Ain’t Nobody Nobody was the best damn book I’ve read in 2019! Author Heather Harper Ellett completely blew me away with this story set in east Texas surrounded by feral hogs no less.

The quirky title Ain’t Nobody Nobody is quite appealing. The story is extraordinary. The book is woven around… Dogs. Revenge. Drugs. Death. Not in that order.  The story unfolds with a former sheriff who is trying his best to deal with the loss of his best friend while looking after his best friend’s mom and his daughter. Not to mention all the dogs this former sheriff is caring for. The biggest issue you think would be the drugs in the story, but in fact, it is the deaths.

To be honest I did connect with the story setting throughout the book. Half of my life I grew up in the piney woods of east Texas. I know how thick the woods are. I experienced the tallness of pine trees and the mass of brambles underneath them. I certainly know what it’s like to be hidden on east Texas land and its unknown backroads. Without a doubt, Ellett’s realism of place is powerfully woven into each chapter.

The beauty of Ellett’s debut novel is how she crafted the twists that I never saw coming with each turn of the page, especially the last twist! Her lambent storytelling is powerful along with her remarkable writing voice.

Lastly, the best books will make you cry if you connect with the story. Indeed – I was crying at the end of the Ain’t Nobody Nobody. Yep – dogs tend to do that with me, even story dogs!

 

 


 

Born and raised in East Texas, Heather Harper Ellett is a graduate of SMU and a therapist in private practice. She lives in Dallas with her husband and son.

 
 

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