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Blue Ridge

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  270 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Blue Ridge is the seventh in a series of deliriously idiosyncratic novels by T.R. Pearson. The narrative is two-pronged, focusing in part on the rather shabby and unsettled existence of Ray Tatum -- a deputy sheriff in the Virginia Appalachians -- whose story is interwoven with that of his cousin, Paul, a Roanoke actuary by trade and hopelessly brittle by disposition. The ...more
Paperback, 243 pages
Published September 25th 2000 by Viking Adult (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30)
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This book was an utter revelation. There are two storylines here: one following cousin Ray who has just been hired as a sheriff deputy in a small town off the Appalachian trail and one following cousin Paul who lives in Virginia but travels to New York City to identify the body of his murdered son.

What follows is fascinating and fun read. While Ray is trying to find out the identity of a skeleton found on the trail (with the help of the wonderfully monikered female park ranger Kit Carson), Paul
Mark Lacy
Easy, fast read, and I read it just about straight through. But was very disappointed that the two stories interleaved were never connected. And neither story satisfactorily solved. Some good characterization.
Cynthia Bazinet
Nov 27, 2011 Cynthia Bazinet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Blue Ridge years ago upon its initial publication, and I remember enjoying it immensely then. I recently reread it upon its recent e-publication and enjoyed it even more. A word of caution: these are not mysteries in the Sue Grafton sense; these are character-driven mystery stories in the Jo Nesbø sense, based on complex characters beyond the usual law enforcement/detective formula and on settings that demonstrate their own authority, voice, and sensibility. Ray Tatum--laconic, taciturn, ...more
May 25, 2007 nina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a strange book. It's about what happens when two ordinary middle-aged southern men find themselves caught in ancient Greek tragedies, only really funny ancient Greek tragedies. One man discovers that the son he never knew was murdered in New York City (a kind of Hades if you're from the South). That man's cousin, a sheriff, finds human bones along the Apalachian trail, and tries to discover their identity. There's also a dead dog that needs proper burial. Apparently T.R. pearson believes ...more
Jan 06, 2014 Spencer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book. In a world of barely comprehensible multi-threaded narratives, Pearson keeps it (relatively) simple with two. Vaguely mysteries, the stories focus on two Virginia cousins and their involvements roles in solving some unanswered questions. The real star of the book is Pearson's prose -- at once basic and deeply textured, be proves that you don't need a lot of fancy fifty-cent words to achieve rich descriptions. He evokes a feeling of the past -- dingy New York hotels, cars wit ...more
Jul 18, 2010 Casey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An intersting literary mystery, but I didn't love it. Though I've never read anything by him before, Pearson seems to be very much a stylist, and while that is certainly not a bad thing (it makes for enjoyable reading), the style seems to detract from the story in this case.

He does something interesting structurally, though. The story is told through two parallel narratives, one told in the third person (mostly)limited pov (he switches between several key characters), and one in the first perso
Mar 25, 2015 Jim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Pearson has two separate story lines running throughout this book, switching from one to the other with each new chapter. I kept waiting for some intersection between them or a reason for these two stories to be in the same book. Other than the fact that the primary characters of each story were cousins, I never did find one. The tales were each interesting and the author displays a quirky, droll sense of humor in his writing, but the book ends with no real resolutions to his tales. Reading this ...more
Feb 25, 2016 Jess rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ray and Paul, cousins, each end up on their own trails as they investigate two unrelated murders. Both are solved, but that's not the point. Their murder mysteries never cross, and the longer that goes on, the more I wondered why. There's a moment at the end of the book, when the mysteries are resolved, and the cousins have a visit. On these last pages, there's an opportunity to assume connections between the two stories, but that's all it is -- assumptions. Beautifully written, great characters ...more
Mar 06, 2013 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was written in the "ever-popular" modern fragmented style so it was difficult to get started. There were two separate stories with two separate murders. The story in NYC was not very credible to me, especially the outcome for the father. It was difficult sometimes to realize which story I was reading because the stories would stop and start within chapters. When I finished the book, I though the ending was clever but not very exciting. I like mysteries, so I liked this book enough to r ...more
Apr 20, 2008 Pooch rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ch I, p. 1 puny eyesore, gaudy, hideous, dusty, artificial

Ray Tatum
Dog, Monroe

Word: scree--acuumulation of small, broken stones

p. 6 "takes no notes, has no memory to speak of"

p. 10 "a note on her palm about prior to lingering to take in with me a heated exchange from across the hall." HUH? :)

Word-- treacly: sticky

Quit at p.114 -- Too grisly for me
Jul 09, 2010 Katy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I bought this because I love the Blue Ridge mountains and mysteries. But there's not a whole lot of description of the scenery, and the mysteries (there are 2) are kind of fluffy. Still, I didn't hate it. Pearson moves the narrative between first person and third person that I found distracting at first but got used to. There are some laugh out loud scenes and dialogue.
Brian Tucker
Jan 21, 2013 Brian Tucker rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
To take and agree with a previous reader's review: "The style seems to detract from the story." And, I'd go a step further and say that it bordered on distracting without having a strong reason for doing so. Initially, I was drawn to the setting, title, and split-narrative. Sadly, the style did take over, and I couldn't focus on the characters themselves.
Aug 17, 2009 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. The characters are alive and funny and real and identifiable. The story itself was interesting but it's the description and dialogue that drew me in- it's all about the people and making their way through the maze of humanity.
Jun 09, 2009 CS rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to CS by: Jenny McDermott
Shelves: swaps
I kept picking this up and putting it down and consequently, it took me a long time to get through this book -- so much so that I kept losing the storyline. It was entertaining while I was reading but I didn't love it.
This book was difficult to get into at first, but then all of a sudden you are half way through and it's got it's hooks in you. What will happen next to these two cousins exploring their own mysteries in different parts of the country...
Dec 08, 2013 Al rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I just missed something, but I missed something. After finishing this book I couldn't recall a single detail, character or point of notice. A book you feel you skimmed, even after you read it in-depth.
Sep 15, 2014 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Had promise--about a local murder in a small town, contrasted with a supposed murder in NYC. Strange, almost too short, quickly lost its point and meandered all over. Tried to put in a love story without success.
Apr 07, 2012 Dawn rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Meh. I disliked most of the characters. I disliked the resolution of both mysteries. But the author has an interesting voice.
Jun 10, 2012 Bayneeta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Loved this. Wonderful dialogue; quirky, memorable characters; offbeat plot. Thank you, Debbie!
Jun 07, 2010 Chuck rated it did not like it
A slow story about two cousins living in Virginia. This author seems
more interested in displaying his flowery verbosity than plot design. I didn't finish it.
Mar 14, 2015 Eva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a fan of TR. His style and odd perspective touch a cord.
Jun 12, 2011 R.L. rated it really liked it
Sad but beautiful.
Robert H. McNeill
Jan 06, 2017 Robert H. McNeill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ambitious, Tandem Mystery

Two brothers, two murders, two locales--Pearson manages to zigzag between both, supplying the wit and the local color for which he is justly famous.
Dec 11, 2011 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining mystery but not as suspenseful as some and not as impressive a read as most of what I've been reading lately. Has a great bad guy, though.
Jan 31, 2016 Bobbie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was on the ny times most notable list of 2000- but for me - just "eh".
Jun 23, 2012 Susan marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Colchester Library Book Sale June 2012
May 02, 2012 Heather rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The description of the book made it seem like it would be a great read, but the book was very slow moving and I just couldn't connect with the characters at all.
Feb 28, 2010 Sharron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
this had its moments stylistically speaking but the story was convoluted and it detracted from the mystery. good sense of place however
Dec 29, 2009 Doug rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read...two murder mysteries remotely related. I like the voice of the writer. Vivid description of place and character. Glad I finally cracked this one.
Dec 06, 2009 Rosie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
nothing special but was OK
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Thomas Reid Pearson is an American novelist. Pearson was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He was a student at North Carolina State University, where he gained a B.A. and M.A. in English. He went on to teach at Peace College in Raleigh, North Carolina. He started work on a Ph.D. in Pennsylvania but soon returned to North Carolina, where he worked as a carpenter and a housepainter while he beg ...more
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“It's a chore for a fellow to fear for his life more than once in an evening.” 4 likes
“The husk of a man in the woods below me bled into a creek that fed into a river that sparkled gaily in the winter sun.” 2 likes
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