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Blue Ridge

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  220 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Ray Tatum is the new deputy sheriff of Hogarth, Virginia, until the discovery of a nearly complete set of human bones on the Appalachian Trail. Meanwhile, Ray's cousin, Paul, is summoned to New York to identify another body--the corpse of his son, whom he barely knew. A "New York Times" Notable Book.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 1st 2001 by Penguin Books (first published 2000)
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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.
this had its moments stylistically speaking but the story was convoluted and it detracted from the mystery. good sense of place however
Cynthia Bazinet
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
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
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
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
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.
Interesting. Compelling enough to keep reading, ended up reading the book in one sitting. I kept wondering if the two stories would merge.
I'm a fan of TR. His style and odd perspective touch a cord.
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
Faulkneresque? Maybe,
Too much "as I lay dying"
For my taste, Sugar.
This book didn't say anything.
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.
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
B.L. Tucker
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.
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.
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...
Jun 09, 2009 CS rated it 2 of 5 stars
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Meh. I disliked most of the characters. I disliked the resolution of both mysteries. But the author has an interesting voice.
Loved this. Wonderful dialogue; quirky, memorable characters; offbeat plot. Thank you, Debbie!
I'm not as into the Tatums as I am the Neely gang, but this one is pleasing on its own.
dark humor but touching story of how decisions can return to haunt us
He's described as neo-Faulkner . . . wrongly!
Jun 23, 2012 Susan marked it as to-read
Colchester Library Book Sale June 2012
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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
More about T.R. Pearson...
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“It's a chore for a fellow to fear for his life more than once in an evening.” 3 likes
“a helplessly devoted student of human frailty” 1 likes
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