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Baby Shark's High Plains Redemption by…
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Baby Shark's High Plains Redemption (2008)

by Robert Fate

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Baby Shark's High Plains Redemption takes place in May, 1957, about eight months after the events in Baby Shark's Beaumont Blues.

Kristin Van Dijk (aka Baby Shark) and her partner, Otis Millett, are hired by Texas businessman Travis Horner to act as bagmen, exchanging a bag of money for his girlfriend Savannah who hasn't exactly been kidnapped but is held against her will in Oklahoma.

What should have been a straightforward exchange takes an unexpected turn when Kristin arrives late at the exchange point to find Otis being beaten by three men. Kristin rescues Otis in her usual direct fashion only to have someone else appear and take Savannah away from them.

On the way back to Texas, Kirsten sees the car Savannah and the stranger took off in, driven off the road and two other men trying to force Savannah into their car. The stranger has been shot to death. Violence ensues and Savannah is rescued again. Otis and Kristin learn that the man who took Savannah the first time is actually a relative, Lester.

Otis and Kristin still have no idea what is going on but feel that Horner must have been behind it. Instead of returning Savannah to Horner, they take her to her family headed by Oklahoma bootlegger Bull Smike. Alliances are formed and Otis and Kristen work at figuring out what is really at stake.

The story is told in first person by Kristin. She's young, in her twenties, living in Texas in the 1950s where she runs counter to the usual roles expected for women. A female private detective is not what people expect when they come to the Millet Agency. Kristin is from the same mold as Mike Hammer - she has a cold calculating courage, the ability to act quickly and violently and frequently fatally, and sees no problem delivering extra-legal justice. She isn't someone you want to cross. She is also extremely loyal to the few people she lets into her life.

The Baby Shark books fall into the hard-boiled genre of detective fiction. As such, you can expect tough characters, action, and violence. Within the framework of the hard-boiled genre, Fate has well developed, intriguing characters, good plots that pull the reader along, and excellent action. They are a great way to spend a couple of hours, lost in a story.

Fate is often asked why he set these book in the 1950s. He explains

My novel begins in the 1950s because I wanted my young female protagonist challenged by a world formed by late nineteenth and early twentieth century attitudes toward women that Rosie the Riveter had just knocked silly. Women of the Eisenhower era were much more restless than Ozzie & Harriet would have had people believe, and I wanted to tap into that with a strong, young female protagonist who could represent that unconventional spirit.

He succeeds in his portrayal of Kristin and Baby Shark, Baby Shark's Beaumont Blues, and Baby Shark's High Plains Redemption all get a hard-boiled thumbs up from me. ( )
1 vote malundy | Oct 18, 2008 |
“In a spine-jolting crunch that flattened me against the steering wheel, the Mercury slid under them and their car came down on my hood, leaving my horn blaring and my engine roaring...I spun around in the seat, used both feet to push open the door, moved fast...and started forward with my pistol in my hand.” (p. 137)

Like Fast-paced? Like strong female PI’s?

Meet.... Baby Shark!

I came in on the “third act” of Baby Shark, in High Plains Redemption, but I’ll be going back to pick up the first two books...and continue on with this hot series by Robert Fate! Baby Shark reminds me of Geena Davis in my all-time favorite action movie, The Long Kiss Goodnight! If you loved Geena in some of her outrageous acts in that movie, then you’ll certainly want to meet Baby Shark:

She can take it:

“He grabbed me by my hair and pulled me around so hard I thought my neck would snap. He jammed a hand between my thighs, picked me up by my crotch and the hair of my head, swooped me up shoulder high—and then I was falling...” (p. 130)

And she can dish it out:

“I moved instantly, swinging my hands out as I fell forward, chopping my blades into their necks as if I were striking cymbals. The first cuts were to the bone, but I slashed up and pressed in, doing even more injury as I withdrew, leaving their neck wounds open wide and their heads nearly detached from their bodies.” (p. 251)

High Plains Redemption takes Kristin Van Dijk, aka Baby Shark and partner, Otis Millett into bootlegging country and two warring mountain clans, as they are hired to find and return Savannah, daughter of one of the clan leaders—hired, but not by her own family!

Baby Shark is as confused as everybody else as they try to determine exactly what is happening and who is leaving the trail of bodies behind as Savannah is located and then lost again. Baby Shark knows only one thing—she must protect Savannah! No matter what or who gets in the way.

Unfortunately, that could actually be her lover, Lee, who happens to be a law officer who expects her to follow all the legal rules that he does in protecting the innocent! It is a constant struggle, for Baby Shark knows, “we work on the edge of the law, and...it gets blurry out there were Otis and I deal with things.” (p. 198) And Baby Shark just doesn’t think she can trust Lee...

Admit it, readers! This sounds like that exciting novel into which you want to escape this weekend! Well, you’ll be right! This book is highly recommended for lovers of action thrillers!

So, excuse me, now...I’m going back to start reading: Baby Shark—first book in what I expect will be Robert Fate’s fantastic series! You might want to start at the beginning... but, no problem, High Plains Redemption stands alone as a great addition, so wherever you meet her, I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy Baby Shark!

G. A. Bixler
Independent Professional Book Reviewer ( )
  GABixler | Sep 25, 2008 |
Very good book, actually rated it at 41/2 stars ( )
  wpriest | Jul 17, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0979996023, Paperback)

When Kristin Van Dijk and Otis Millett, are hired to bring home Savannah, the kidnapped girlfriend of an Oklahoma bootlegger, they learn the hard way that someone wants the gorgeous redhead so badly they will kill to get her. Kristin and Otis must discover the reason behind Savannah’s popularity before she and/or they are murdered.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:20 -0400)

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