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Publisher's Summary

For Vietnam veteran turned wildlife ranger Nick Drake, the war at home proves just as deadly.  

Harney County, Oregon, 1968: Nick Drake has a chest full of medals and enough demons to fill a duffel bag. He's been trained to kill but was never retrained to rejoin society. Drake flees to the lonesome high desert in search of redemption and takes a job patrolling wildlife refuges where the only conflicts are keeping out stray cows and ticketing poachers. But then he stumbles across a girl's body ritually placed in a gully. 

Her murder is only the beginning, and Drake must face humanity's heart of darkness once again if he's to stop a killer from turning even more gullies into graves.

©2018 Dwight Holing (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about The Sorrow Hand

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Do not pass this book up!

I really enjoyed this first book in the Nick Drake series. The time setting for this series is the late ‘60s Vietnam era. Nick is a damaged veteran, recovering heroin addict. He’s been given a second chance and he can’t blow it. Either become a game warden in some out of the way county in Oregon and give up heroine for a year or go to a psych hospital indefinitely. Nick also suffers from PTSD and has flashbacks.
Shortly after beginning his new job Nick comes across the body of a young woman partially buried. Only days later another body is found. Other young people are going missing but is it foul play or are they draft dodgers? Worse yet, maybe a serial killer is at work in this remote neck of the woods.
Because of the time period there is no technology, there are radios and landlines. Star Trek was a new TV series and the BEATLES had just released their WHITE ALBUM.
There are some very likable and believable characters. The setting is vividly described and the plot is plausible.
Steve Marvel does an excellent job narrating.
This book has my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

22 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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This is a REALLY GOOD BOOK

right up there with Craig Johnson, William Kent Kreuger, Tony Hillerman and Michael Connelly though Connelly writes city, not country. My only complaint is the narrator. His voice is country rough which is fine - but he intones everything with unrelenting grimness, too. A coarser, earthy-er voice DOES NOT HAVE TO SOUND GRIM. This grimness strongly affects how The Sorrow Hand comes across, makes it heavy, drilling and hard to take. It buries the beauty, warmth and humor tucked in amidst the truly grim aspects of the story and makes this realism which is a definite strength of the novel - grimmer than it is and misrepresents the book. I almost quit listening at a couple of points because of this. I'm glad I waded through because it's a - thank God for once - really good new book out there! It has quality writing, real substance, good plot, nature, touches of humor, human warmth and original and authentic details in plot and character backgrounds. The story also takes some thought provoking and NON-JUDGMENTAL sweeps through several "isms" in our present world.
If I were Dwight Holing I would insist on a different reader for his new book, The Shaming Eyes OR ask Steve Marvel to lighten up his interpretive rendering.

5 people found this helpful

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Good story

I enjoyed the reading by Mr. Marvel. Very good plot and a surprising conclusion. I will purchase more books in this series either on my kindle or iPhone.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent. Completely enjoyable.

Our sad protagonist, recovering from injuries and a heroin habit he began in Vietnam, becomes a Fish and Wildlife officer in very rural Harney County, Oregon. One of the largest in size and smallest in population counties in the US.

In Oregon on the Far East side of the state, next to Idaho and Nevada, Harney County is full of migratory birds, snakes, wild mustangs and a cult similar to the eastern cult that inhabited and tried to take over Antelope City Oregon in the 1970s.

But it’s 1968, in the middle of the Vietnam War and just before Nixon Is elected.

The Sorrow Hand is a an excellent book and I thought the narration by Steve Marvel superior to the narrator in the Second and Third books. It always annoys me when producers change narrator midstream.

The book brings back a lot of 1968 to me, though I was living in San Francisco at the time, not Oregon. Still the beauty of eastern Oregon along with the wildlife and ‘still the old west’ attitude that continues to be part of eastern Oregon prevails.

Well worth a listen. Ok for young teens but probably boring for preteens it’s a food family road trip book.

2 people found this helpful

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Multidimensonal story line - throughly enjoyed it!

This story encompassed several stories within the main story. As a military brat and spouse growing up in the Vietnam era, portions of the story hit home. As the characters developed to include native american legends, desert landscapes, hippies and far out spiritual culturals the 60's came roaring back. The narrator utilized believable shifts in tone, volume and 'anxiety' appropriately. I often felt like I was sitting around the fire with the veterans in my life from all conflicts. Thank you.

1 person found this helpful

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So glad to have a new author

I am always hesitant to try a new author and stick with my favorites such as CJ Box, Lee Child, and James Lee Burke. Dwight Holing seems to fit right in that list. And so does Steve Marvel with his great gravelly voice, kind of like George Guidell (sp?).

1 person found this helpful

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Entertaining

The "Sorrow Hand" was my first Dwight Holing novel and the first in the Nick Drake series. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this novel set in 1968 in cattle country, specifically "Harney County, Oregon." Having lived in Burns, Oregon, which is mentioned many times in the book, I can relate to many locations noted. The author knows his history of eastern Oregon. Included are cowboys, the "Malheur National Wildlife Refuge," the Paiute Indian Tribe, and more. I found the novel to be educating, fun, and engaging. The deputy sheriff is hilarious. Steve Marvel, the narrator, did an excellent job. I have already finished the second one in this series, and it is also great.

1 person found this helpful

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Why are the hero's wussses now a days?

This guy certainly doesn't know the realities of war or what real hero's are. Seems like all these wussses are writing books now a days. We were good and back stabbed by the enemies within in VietNam. but the story is boring as well as inaccurate and Veteran's are not victim's. Don't bother.

1 person found this helpful

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I loved this book

couldn't put it down. it kept me guessing. I laughed a couple times. characters are easy to love or hate. :) narrator does a great job! although I see that the rest of the series is with a different narrator. I just hope he's as good. I'm into the second book now, Steve Marvel narrates the Paiute Native Peoples language like he's Paiute. and although this other narrator is good, he can't hold a candle to Steve Marvel.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Disappointed

There are a lot of people liking this, but, wow. I am pretty filled up with the 'woe is me'. C.J. Box, he isn't. Craig Johnson, he isn't. William Kent Krueger, he isn't.

1 person found this helpful