Book Review: Nail’s Crossing by Kris Lackey

cover for Nail's Crossing by Kris Lackey
© Blackstone Audiobooks, 2017.


“This debut mystery from a fresh voice in Southwestern fiction stakes out the common ground between Tony Hillerman, Elmore Leonard, and Cormac McCarthy.

In a remote corner of the Chickasaw Nation, tribal Lighthorse policeman Bill Maytubby and county deputy Hannah Bond discover the buzzard-ravaged body of Majesty Tate, a young drifter with a blank past. They comb Oklahoma’s rock prairie, river bottoms, and hard-bitten small towns for traces of her last days.

Tate was seen dancing with Austin Love, a violent local meth dealer fresh out of prison. An Oklahoma City motel clerk connects her with an aspiring politician. An oil-patch roustabout and a shady itinerant preacher provide dubious leads. Ne’er-do-wells start dying off.

A fluke lead propels Maytubby deep into Louisiana’s bayou country, where a Cajun shrimper puts him on the scent of a bizarre conspiracy. He and Bond reunite in the Chickasaw Nation for the eventual face-off at Nail’s Crossing.” (Source: Goodreads)


Nail’s Crossing is a fast-paced police procedural from debut author Kris Lackey. Set in Southeastern Oklahoma, the novel dips into Arkansas (my stomping grounds) and Louisiana. Some scenes take place in Oklahoma City, in neighborhoods I know well and the locales depicted in this book are precisely why when I received an email regarding it, I absolutely had to read it.

This book is in the first in a series centered around Bill Maytubby, a reservation police officer, and Hannah Bond, a sturdy, no-bullshit female officers from the county. In these two and the many side characters, Lackey proves adept at making his cast realistic and relateable – which is something I find wanting in other books far too often.

The plot of Nail’s Crossing deals with the aftermath of a young woman’s murder and a varied group of individuals that are responsible for her death. By focusing on the apprehension of the criminals, rather than the psychology behind why they killed the woman make this title a refreshing read, especially after all the books I’ve read lately that try and compare themselves to Gone Girl.

I’ve been in a bit of a slump recently, so the fact I devoured Lackey’s book in only a couple sittings speaks volumes to his ability to maintain a constant flow of action. Unlike many books I’ve read where the author refers to stereotypes to depict certain demographics, Lackey’s portrayal of poverty-stricken southerners is accurate. Considering I live in one of Arkansas’s poorest counties, this meant a lot to me. Lackey has given those without voices one within the pages of his novel that, if you’re looking for it, remind readers that we’re our own culture as well (and not by clinging to Confederate rhetoric like the ones of today seem to).

I look forward to more books in this series, that’s for sure. I’d like to thank Blackstone Audiobooks for providing me with a free copy of this book at no charge in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Rating: 💀💀💀💀💀

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