Official Review: Bedford Forrest Rides Again

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any crime, thriller, mystery or horror books or series.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
Post Reply
User avatar
ViziVoir
Posts: 239
Joined: 10 Mar 2018, 02:34
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 110
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 28
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-vizivoir.html
Latest Review: The Edelion by M J Zeller
Location: United States

Official Review: Bedford Forrest Rides Again

Post by ViziVoir » 28 Mar 2018, 14:50

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Bedford Forrest Rides Again" by Terence Gilmore Cady.]
Book Cover
1 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Bedford Forrest Rides Again by Terence Cady is set in Crosstown in rural Texas. It follows County Sheriff Travis Boudin as he uncovers the mystery surrounding a dead child found decomposing near a river. He is joined by Bobby Hicks, an aspiring reporter with personal ties to both Crosstown and the murder. The title refers to a character who claims to be descended from the Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest, who owns the van depicted on the cover. The plot points included in the novel are dark, almost excessively so, and include child trafficking and domestic violence.

From a narrative standpoint, Cady has a somewhat poor grasp of the murder mystery genre. Nearly all of the uncertainty surrounding the murder is revealed through scenes with the main antagonists in the first half of the book, effectively stripping the mystery from the story. As a result, the protagonists must spend time figuring out things the reader is already aware of. This seems like an attempt at dramatic irony, but in reality, it just means that the novel's pacing drags severely in places.

Cady also seems preoccupied with pushing his own opinion of Deep South "culture" - by which, of course, I mean endemic racism. This is completely glossed over throughout the story, and while some characters talk about African Americans, no character with more than a few bits of dialogue is actually African American. This wouldn't be quite as problematic if the plot hadn't revolved around civil war reenactments. Cady even goes so far as to include a protagonist internally referring to how Confederates of the civil war fought for a "sacred cause" during one scene.

While at first, I was willing to give the book the benefit of the doubt, I was repeatedly appalled at Cady's disrespect for both women and minorities in his narrative. There are a grand total of two female characters that are fleshed out significantly. Both have incredibly traumatic pasts, and they each really served only to further their male counterparts' stories.

I struggled a great deal with rating Bedford Forrest Rides Again. While its writing style was functional, and the plot was mostly coherent, I was really only compelled to keep reading out of a horrified fascination. Ultimately, I chose to rate it 1 out of 4 stars. I believe it failed as a murder mystery book, but it still has some merit; it exposes the violent and misguided beliefs that still surround the Civil War in some rural areas of the southern United States. I would recommend it only to people who are interested in understanding these extremely skewed perspectives. I would not recommend it to anyone simply looking for an exciting mystery novel, and especially not to anyone without enough context to understand complex social issues like racism and misogyny.

******
Bedford Forrest Rides Again
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like ViziVoir's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
stacie k
Posts: 317
Joined: 01 Feb 2018, 17:04
2018 Reading Goal: 40
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 32
Currently Reading: Farenheit 451
Bookshelf Size: 32
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-stacie-k.html
Latest Review: Tethered to Wanting by Constance Huddleston Anderson
Location: California

Post by stacie k » 07 Apr 2018, 00:22

Child trafficking, domestic violence, disrespect for women—these are not topics I want to read about. Thanks for suffering through this one so the rest of us don’t have to.
“The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable.” Proverbs 15:2a

User avatar
CambaReviewer
Posts: 235
Joined: 29 Apr 2017, 05:44
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 32
Favorite Book: The Barnyard Buddies STOP for Peace
Currently Reading: When Leaves Fall
Bookshelf Size: 256
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cambareviewer.html
Latest Review: Who Hears While Not Listening? by Alim M. Bey
Location: Earth

Post by CambaReviewer » 07 Apr 2018, 01:23

Oh dear! You obviously did not enjoy reading this book. Nice, candid review. I like your use of words: "horrified fascination". Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us and reading the book till the end. Well done!

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 4578
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 36
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 170
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: Dreaming to Be the Outlier by Daniel Hotchner

Post by kandscreeley » 07 Apr 2018, 19:24

I'm sorry you didn't like this one. Is it set in modern times? Or a bit earlier? That would definitely make a difference as far as the prejudice. Still, it's not really my type of book. Thanks.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
Miriam Molina
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 2576
Joined: 02 May 2017, 20:17
2018 Reading Goal: 48
2017 Reading Goal: 36
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 43
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 125
Currently Reading: A Stained White Radiance
Bookshelf Size: 493
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-miriam-molina.html
Latest Review: "Art of Peace by Collective Wisdom" by Davita
Reading Device: B00KC6I06S

Post by Miriam Molina » 10 Apr 2018, 04:11

I do not think I can have a fascination, horrified or otherwise, for this story. Thanks for enduring your excruciating ride with Sheriff Boudin, Bobby and Bedford.
I am, however, curious about one-star reviews. I'd like to know how to give such a rating with diplomacy. You did it well, ViziVoir!

User avatar
Libs_Books
Posts: 436
Joined: 13 Feb 2018, 12:54
Favorite Book:
Currently Reading: The Mathematician's Journey
Bookshelf Size: 207
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-libs-books.html
Latest Review: Home Economics for Girls by JP Wright
Location: UK

Post by Libs_Books » 10 Apr 2018, 13:34

Thanks for a very wise and perceptive review. I'd assumed the title was a joke, and we were in for a light-hearted romp, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Post Reply

Return to “Crime, Thrillers, Mystery and Horror Books”