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Assumption: A Novel by Percival Everett
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Assumption: A Novel (2011)

by Percival Everett

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Ogden Walker is a deputy sheriff in Plata, the small desert community in New Mexico where he grew up. He’s on the likable side of stoic, and stumbles through his job as best he can with the promise of fly fishing on the weekends. But there’s trouble in Plata, in the form of three crimes, possible interconnected, that spiral rapidly out of control toward the novel’s startling conclusion.
Everett has a wonderfully terse style: he says as much by omission as he does with his brisk prose. This is a fine piece of writing for fans of both literary fiction and police procedurals, and you’ll be desperate to talk about it once it has revealed its secrets. ( )
2 vote circumspice | Feb 18, 2014 |
Whoa.



Prob 4.5 stars. ( )
1 vote dtn620 | Sep 22, 2013 |
A sheriff's deputy investigates a series of crimes in a small desert town that disrupt his little remaining faith in humanity in three loosely connected stories.

Here is a book that kept me thinking -- almost obsessing -- about it long after I had closed the covers. The title is Assumption, and in these stories, the characters' assumptions keep getting proved wrong, leading the reader to finally question his/her own assumptions.

The main character, Deputy Sheriff Ogden Walker, is a bit inept at his job and feels lonely and disconnected as the only black man in a tiny town in the New Mexico desert. The novel provides a terrific sense of character; we too know that there's something wrong in Walker's life, but like Walker, we can't quite put our finger on the trouble as we bumble along with him through his cases. The desert setting, used to great effect, amplifies Walker's sense of isolation and disconnect. And then the author pulls the rug out from under us.

It's a clever novel, something new and different for crime readers, and definitely a candidate for a future reread.

This book came to me by way of my father's estate. (2013). ( )
  sturlington | Aug 6, 2013 |
I was totally puzzled by the conclusion of this loose novel, until I re-examined my assumptions. This is a very challenging and very intelligent novel. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
I can't add too much to the previous reviews. Despite an underlying sense of alienation, Ogden Walker seems to fit into rural New Mexico quite nicely. He has the respect and even affection of his boss the Police Chief and the other deputy and local townspeople. And he knows the territory, As we read through these novellas, we see him lose faith in others and then in himself. And this leads to trouble.

Percival Everett's attention to the just right details reminds me of Elmore Leonard. Not your standard crime read. ( )
1 vote mckall08 | May 13, 2012 |
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"Ogden Walker, deputy sheriff of a small New Mexico town, is on the trail of an old woman's murderer.  But at the crime scene, his are the only footprints leading up to and away from her door.  Something is amiss, and even his mother knows it.  As other cases pile up, Ogden gives chase, pursuing flimsy leads for even flimsier reasons.  Ogden't hunt leads him from the seamier side of Denver to a hippie commune as he seeks the puzzling solution.  [...]A wild ride to the heart of a baffling mystery, Assumption is a literary thriller like no other."
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"In the sleepy New Mexico backwater of Plata, Deputy Sheriff Ogden Walker spends his time humoring his portly boss, chasing vandals, and fly-fishing. But when a woman is murdered under strange circumstances, his life takes a turn for the worse. Over three disturbing cases, Walker scours the seedy underbelly of Denver, a ragtag hippie commune, and a fish hatchery. He is on the search for solutions to the questions he is foolish enough to ask. The answers, when they do come, are not the ones anyone expected"-- Cover verso.… (more)

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