Crow's Landing by Brad SmithCrow's Landing by Brad Smith

Crow's Landing

byBrad Smith

Paperback | August 7, 2012

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Jack-of-all-trades Virgil Cain gets tangled up in an old crime surfacing from the waters of the Hudson River, in this second novel in a rip-roaring series that started with Red Means Run.

Trouble always finds Virgil Cain. Brad smith’s second Virgil Cain novel is fast, funny country-noir action at its best.

For Virgil Cain, a day of fishing on the Hudson River yields more than he bargained for when, while pulling up anchor, he hooks on to a mysterious steel cylinder. As word of Virgil’s strange catch spreads around the local marina, it draws the attention of a crooked city cop, who seizes both the cylinder and Virgil’s boat. Soon, an old drug deal gone sour surfaces, and to get to the bottom of it—and to get his boat back—Virgil teams up with a captivating single mom, Dusty, who knows far too much about the cylinder and the pure cocaine it contains. The landscape is soon cluttered with the dealer who claims ownership of the cylinder, his murderous sidekick, and a wild card in the form of a crazy Russian cowboy. Virgil and Dusty find themselves trapped in the middle and desperate for a way out.
Brad Smith was born and raised in southern Ontario. He has worked as a farmer, signalman, insulator, truck driver, bartender, schoolteacher, maintenance mechanic, roofer, and carpenter. He lives in an eighty-year-old farmhouse near the north shore of Lake Erie. His novel, One-Eyed Jacks, was nominated for the Dashiell Hammett Prize.
Title:Crow's LandingFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.6 inPublished:August 7, 2012Publisher:ScribnerLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1451678541

ISBN - 13:9781451678543


Rated 5 out of 5 by from thoroughly enjoyed Brad Smith's writing style and story telling. Will look forward to the next Virgil Cain adventure
Date published: 2014-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Canadian and awesome The Good Stuff Beginning sucks you in (and with a minor dry spot in the middle) keeps you totally engrossed and not wanting to put down Lots of twists and turns and edge of your seat moments I love Virgil Cain he is such a fascinating character, I love getting to know him bit by bit through Smith's stories Unique, yet realistic, secondary characters -- all quirky and colourful Author is Canadian and mentions some Canadian settings (not to mention a fabulous storyteller) Great story for the beach or cottage Plenty of trademark Smith wit -- the man makes me laugh out loud with some of his dialogue Really enjoyed Dusty as a character, she was kick a**, funny and just really likeable and real The Not So Good Stuff Drags a wee bit in the middle Its kinda silly, but the cover again doesn't really match the story - I felt the same with Red Means Run -- but I'm a cover gso irl please ignore this since its only an ARC copy -- just saw the cover for the final book and its much better! (Cover pictured above is the ARC one) Favorite Quotes/Passages "Nobody had a ready opinion as to what exactly the thing was, except for Mudcat, who was an expert on nearly everything, although his expertise was somewhat tempered by the fact that he was basically an imbecile." "I'd have an easier time doing that if it was true," Virgil said. "I never threatened Brownie. I did threaten Mudcat here. I told him I was going to kick the s*** out of him if he didn't stop lying. Apparently he didn't listen to me because here he is lying again. And this time he's lying to the cops. Hey-- why don't you guys kick the s*** out of him." "Virgil started to tell him the hay mow story but he stopped. Kids get lied to enough in this world." Who Should/Shouldn't Read Fans of Elmor Leonard and Dennis Lehane - this one is for you (Also read Red Means Run) If you enjoyed Red Means Run -- you will also love getting to know Virgil a little more Just looking for a good mystery/suspense, this will definitely be your cup of tea 4.25 Dewey's I received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an
Date published: 2012-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Finished too fast Another great book I finished far too quickly! Crow's Landing by Brad Smith is the second book featuring Virgil Cain. I read the first book - Red Means Run - and was hooked. Virgil is still working his farm, but decides to play hooky one day and head out fishing in the boat he restored over the winter. While pulling up anchor to come back in, he hauls in a strange steel cylinder. Back at the marina, he padlocks it to his boat and goes to the local diner for something to eat. And comes running back out when he sees some guy taking off with his trailer, boat - and the cylinder. When he protests, he gets a gun shoved in his face and told it's police business. Now, Virgil was curious about that cylinder, but damn it, he wants his boat back. So, he heads down to the police station. And is told that there hasn't been a boat impounded and they have no idea what he's talking about. I thought we might see more of Claire Marchant this book - a local cop Virgil got involved with in the last book. But Smith introduces a new character - Dusty - a single mom with a checkered past - and more than a little knowledge about that cylinder. And when Virgil and Dusty cross paths... "Since he was a kid, he had possessed a propensity for getting into trouble, some of it of his own accord and some of it purely by accident. Just last year, for instance he'd been arrested for murder, escaped jail, fell under suspicion for a second murder, and was finally shot in the earlobe by the woman responsible for both. If that couldn't be categorized as a propensity for getting into trouble, Virgil didn't know what could." Virgil's in it again. Smith has created strong personalities that immediately spring to life. Virgil Cain is very laid back, thinks before he speaks and observes before he acts. But still waters run deep - there's a lot more to Virgil than meets the eye. He's been described as a 'laconic charmer' and I don't think I could say it any better. Smith has created just as strong a female character in Dusty - she's strong, fearless and tough. I hope we get to see her again too - or that Virgil does. With two such great protagonists, readers of both sexes will enjoy Crow's Landing. I love the sly, quirky sense of humour Smith injects into his situations, characters and dialogue - along the lines of of Elmore Leonard. This isn't really a traditional mystery book. What it is though, is a helluva good rollicking tale, populated by crooked cops, a crazed Cossack cowboy, a cool as a cucumber con.......and Virgil - 'cause really, he just wants his boat back. Loved it! Fans of Virgil Flowers and Jack Reacher would enjoy Brad Smith's writing.
Date published: 2012-08-07

Read from the Book

ONE The boat was moored out near the middle of the river, a few miles north of the town of Athens, at a point where the stream swept around a wide bend, the channel flowing southeastward for a half mile or so before swinging back to the south. They had anchored just before dark, having made a hundred and twenty miles that day. Parson had been watching the sonar for the last hour and when they came to a drop-off that read sixty-one feet, he cut the engines and lowered the anchors, fore and aft. The sun was fading fast, slipping down into the pine forest to the west, and the light that remained filtered through the tree line, casting the surface of the water in orange and red hues. The banks on both sides of the river were largely deserted along that stretch. There were a couple of ramshackle cabins visible on the east shore, and a farmhouse on a hill set farther back. A herd of Holsteins grazed on the slope beside the house, the white on their hides also colored an odd hue of orange by the descending sun. A man in an aluminum boat was trolling along the western bank, moving south with the current. The man wore a fedora and was smoking a pipe. He had one hand on the tiller and when Parson waved to him, he lifted the pipe briefly above his head in reply. He continued downriver, the outboard putt-putting quietly across the heavy night air, and soon disappeared around the bend. Parson fired the barbecue and cooked steaks that they’d bought earlier that day while fueling up at a marina in Peekskill. The woman had been reading in the cabin all afternoon, some novel she’d picked up in Charleston when they’d stopped there for a day on their way north. The book was about a slave woman who’d escaped from her owner in the middle of the Civil War and made her way north to Boston. Parson knew what the book was about because she kept telling him about it, insisting that he should read it when she was finished. She told him that she thought it would resonate with him, even more than it had with her. She’d actually used the word resonate. Parson didn’t much care about his history, how his ancestors had gotten from wherever they had been to where he was now. It didn’t matter to him, and even if it did it wouldn’t make any difference, not to somebody living in the present. In all probability his ancestors had been slaves, but what did that have to do with him? Besides, Parson didn’t read much, and when he did, he didn’t read fiction. What did he care about some story some writer made up? She came up from the cabin while the steaks were sizzling, smoking a joint and carrying a bottle of Chardonnay she’d just opened. She handed the joint to Parson and poured wine for both of them before sitting down on the padded bench on the rear deck of the Chris-Craft. She wore a bikini top and a bloodred sarong, her blond hair tucked beneath a cotton baseball cap. She was deeply tanned, both from the trip and the two weeks earlier in the Bahamas. She’d made a salad earlier and they ate that and the steaks, sitting at the pull-out table on the deck, finishing in near darkness. It was very quiet on the river; from time to time they would hear a gull, and once a pair of mallards flew directly overheard, quacking in that anxious manner that ducks seemed to possess. They finished the wine with the meal and afterward she took the dishes down to the galley to wash them. They had been on the water since seven that morning and at ten o’clock she announced she was going to bed. Parson followed shortly after, first checking the bilge pump and the marker lights. He would have preferred to leave the lights off, but then they would run the risk of a tugboat or trawler ramming them in the dark. The sky was clouding over as he went below, huge puffy clouds pushing in from the west, floating in front of the rising moon like ships at sea. When he woke, it was five minutes to two. The wind was up and the boat was riding the waves, the bow making soft slapping noises on the water. Parson wondered if that was what had awakened him. He lay there quietly for a time. Beside him, the woman was sound asleep, naked beneath the cotton sheets. Faint light showed through the window beside her. Parson could see the panther inked on her shoulder, and it looked as if the cat too was asleep, its head resting on her upper arm, its body tucked into the covers below. After a while he rose, pulled on his pants, and went up top. The moon was still visible, but smudged now beneath gray cloud cover. Looking at the outline of the riverbank to the east, it seemed to Parson that they had drifted with the current. He checked the sonar; it still read sixty-one feet so it must have been his imagination. The anchor ropes were tight and secure. He walked to the side of the boat to take a leak before going back below and that’s when he heard the sound. It was very faint, a soft splash on the surface like someone skipping a stone, and he thought at first it might have been a fish jumping. Then the clouds shifted and the moon shone through for a few moments. There was a boat maybe two hundred yards away, coming silently toward him, as if adrift. But it wasn’t adrift. There were men in the boat, and the noise he’d heard was an oar hitting the water. Parson made for the bench at the rear of the Chris-Craft, pulled the cushions from it, and opened the lid. Inside there was a false bottom of stained plywood. He pulled it out and tossed it aside. The stainless steel cylinder was underneath, wrapped in blankets to keep it from rolling around. Parson grabbed one of the handles and, heaving the heavy cylinder out of the hiding place, dragged it to the transom and threw it overboard. He turned back and once again caught a glimpse of the approaching boat before the cloud cover returned, this time obscuring the moon completely. Parson walked quickly to the bow and dove into the cold water. He stayed beneath the surface as long as his breath would allow, came up for air, and went under again. When he was certain he couldn’t be seen from the boat, he settled into a breast stroke and swam for shore. He could hear voices behind him, floating across the water. Excited voices, shouting, cursing. Looking back, he saw lights on the Chris-Craft, and on the smaller boat now tied to the big vessel. The last thing he heard was the woman calling his name.

Editorial Reviews

"Rivals Elmore Leonard at his best."--Publishers Weekly