Written by D. L. Keur writing as E. J. Ruek and narrated by an incomparable Kirk Winkler of Pro Media Strategies.
Think "All Creatures Great and Small", but with a plot, some mystery, and maybe a ghost.
Set in a near future "now" and marked by moment-to-moment, life-and-death crises that are a practicing veterinarian's life, meet Warren Jeffreys, D.V.M. Raised white, half Cree, he's gifted with animals, but not very people savvy.
Struggling to survive his first year in private practice, despite the huge chip on his shoulder, college debt, and a plague of bigotry and prejudice, his bad luck and worse judgment lands him broke and homeless, camping out with vagrants and vagabonds. He's cleansing cows and cutting up dead lambs inside bawling ewes-an animal mechanic working for a small-time veterinary service in rural North Idaho.
As his hopes for prestige and preeminence buckle under the rigors of day-to-day practice, he finds a new dream - a reconciliation to home and family-and with it comes a certain peace... until, once again, as fame and fortune tempt, he faces hard choices.
Filled with intense, critical emergencies, all of them based on true cases, the audiobook has been "vetted" by modern, practicing veterinarians. It's the animals that make you really pull for Dr. Warren Jeffreys, because, despite his best attempts not to, he cares. A lot. And, because he cares, because he competes against death, regardless the odds, he makes a difference. Unfortunately, the often cantankerous farm folk he serves don't always appreciate his efforts and skill. Nor do they trust him, the "too tall, long-haired Injun". Warren truly is a man without a home, with a foot in two worlds, but welcome in neither until he learns to trust his own heart.
If you could sum up Old Hickory Lane in three words, what would they be?
Engaging plot, writing.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Old Hickory Lane?
There are many. Every incident of Warren's vet practice leaves you on the edge of your seat. Best spot? Treating the K9 corps at the clinic. Definitely an emergency with a lot at stake.
What about Kirk Winkler’s performance did you like?
The narrative parts are not just read in monotone, but pitched to the circumstances of the scene.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I can't stay awake that long, but the book certainly holds the listener's attention. I'd already read the book, but quite awhile ago. It was nice to hear the story so well narrated.
Any additional comments?
You can't help but wish Warren success, but you also want to slap him upside the head to knock the chip off his shoulder. If he was totally likable, I don't think the story would be near as compelling.