This isn’t a review. It’s more of an adieu (hmm, there’s a song there, somewhere). It’s my farewell to John Verdon’s Dave Gurney series.
I’ve enjoyed this series, but White River Burning brought about that moment when (as Job said) “the thing I greatly feared had come upon me.”
I’d been concerned about the increasing levels of political messaging in the books. Not that I think that’s a sin – I’m an ideological writer myself. But I know I’ve lost readers because of the opinions I’ve embedded in my books. In the same way, John Verdon has lost me.
I didn’t get far into White River Burning, which centers on the murder of a policeman in a city torn by riots similar to the Trayvon Martin unrest. It didn’t take many pages before we were treated to a scene where a “commentator” on the RAM News Channel (which seems to be a surrogate for FOX) engages in open white supremacist rhetoric.
I can understand how a leftist might think that FOX is a forum for neo-Nazis fresh out of their white sheets. FOX is often criticized as racist by the left, but this is because leftists generally believe that all conservative opinions are racist. It isn’t surprising that author Verdon might think you can turn on FOX on any given day and hear its commentators calling for, oh, a return to Jim Crow and revived miscegenation laws.
But it’s not reality. And at that point I couldn’t overlook the political passion of the author. I wish him well, but I’m confident he doesn’t want my business.