A Dark Path (Katrina Williams, #3) by Robert E. Dunn

KK Conley Review:

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A Dark Path is well titled as it is one of the darker crime novels I’ve read lately.

Sherriff’s Deputy Katrina Williams is aptly nicknamed Hurricane, not because of her first name, but because she is a hurricane. Standing at six feet tall, she is beyond the cliched alcoholic deputy/detective. She brings with her a past rape by two superior officers who left her for dead when she served in the Mid-East, a recently deceased father, a mother who abandoned her at six, and a never-ending craving for alcohol. When she drinks, she drinks herself blind. She lives in small town Arkansas, wears jeans and boots, and is the wealthy widow of a successful artist. She has anger management issues that she doesn’t always control on the job, and is assigned to therapy for past actions.

Robert E. Dunn displays strong imagery with passages like:

Dr. Kurtz had given me one thing that had nested in my mind. That bit about wearing an identity. She was right. Since I had come home from the Army, I had worn a badge, manly boots, and unflattering jeans as armor against the world. It was a take-me-seriously façade that transitioned easily into a fear-me look. I needed to make some changes in my life. 

Hurricane’s husband has been dead long enough to for her to be attracted to a kind and personable detective that she pushes away.

I liked the unfolding story of Katrina most about the book, although several times I felt she thought more like a man than a woman. I guess that’s why authors are encouraged to write characters with the same race and gender.

The plot is one I’ve seen before: Arian Brotherhood motorcycle gangs against and African-Americans in small town America, all of whom search for rumored buried treasure.

The book is a well-paced and solid read.

Booklist Online Review:

Not available

Amazon Description & Rating:

Sheriff’s detective Katrina “Hurricane” Williams confronts deep-rooted hate and greed in the Missouri Ozarks in this riveting police procedural… 
What at first appears to be a brush fire in some undeveloped bottom land yields the charred remains of a young African-American man. As sheriff’s Katrina Williams conducts her inspection of the crime scene, she discovers broken headstones and disturbed open graves in a forgotten cemetery.

As Katrina attempts to sort out a complex backwoods criminal network involving the Aryan Brotherhood, meth dealers, and the Ozarks Nightriders motorcycle gang, she is confronted by the sudden appearance of a person out of her own past who may be involved. And what seems like a clear-cut case of racially motivated murder is further complicated by rumors of hidden silver and dark family histories. To uncover the ugly truth, Katrina will need to dig up past crimes and shameful secrets that certain people would kill to keep buried . . .

4.5 Stars out of 5 (2 reviews)

Goodreads Rating:

4.6 Stars out of 5.0 (10 reviews)

Author overall rating: 4.21

Author’s Description:

(Same as Amazon)

Book Trailer:

None found


From The Big Thrill


The Big Thrill caught up to author Robert E. Dunn to discuss the third installment in his Katrina Williams mystery/thriller series, A DARK PATH:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

This is a book about dark, hidden history. I hope readers will realize that the past is written in families just as much as it is in books.

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

Katrina (Hurricane) Williams continues to struggle with her personal demons, alcoholism and PTSD in her own way. She is a woman in a man’s world defying expectations both by her approach and her failings. Katrina is as tough as they come without ever giving up what makes her a real person and woman.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

Location or environment as character has a strong influence on me. In all of my books you will notice a strong “rural-noir” kind of influence. Craig Johnson, C.J. Box, James Lee Burke, Joe Lansdale, J. Todd Scott, and Ace Atkins are masters of making place a living character in their books. I owe all of them.

Robert E. Dunn was born an army brat and grew up in the Missouri Ozarks. He wrote his first book at age eleven, turning a series of Jack Kirby comic books into a hand written novel spanning a dozen spiral bound notebooks.

Over many years in the, mostly, honest work of video and film production, he produced everything from documentaries to training films and his favorite, travelogues. He returned to writing mystery, horror, and fantasy fiction for publication after the turn of the century. It seemed like a good time for change even if the changes were not always his choice.

In addition to A DARK PATH, the Katrina Williams mystery/thriller series includes A Living Grave, A Particular Darkness, and coming next year, A Song Unsung. Mr. Dunn is also the author of the hard boiled crime novel Dead Man’s Badge and the horror novels The Red Highway, Motorman, and The Harrowing.

To learn more about Robert, follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@WritingDead).