Bad Medicine by Pete Sheild
November 30, 2021
Ten/16 Press, Waukesha
Adventure, Historical fiction, 280 pp
Reviewed by Lisa Lickel, www.lisalickel.com
Set on the American Western prairies of South Dakota during the late 1960s, and traveling back and forth in time to set up the motives, Bad Medicine sets up a perfect storm of a grandfather-grandson road trip.
Just when the reader thinks Dr. Colby Phillips and his grandson Jimmy will finally catch a break, there’s a new twist. Colby holds his secrets close to his chest, but when one of them roars up, it’s archaeology war on the prairie with valuable artifacts the booty, and little concern about the heritage of the items.
Kansas, U-Kansas, Jimmy finished freshman year and wants some family time. He agrees to assist his famous grandfather in his quest for a long-desired historical artifact.
Dr. Phillips isn’t completely innocent, as he’s taken professional liberties for reasons that are outwardly understandable if not justifiable. As a role model to his grandson, he’s not about to admit that he’s less than perfect since his reputation is already set high and Jimmy looks up to and admires him.
When suspicious characters claiming to be from the Department of Indian Affairs show up, Phillips knows his chances of setting up a dig based on long-ago research are going south rapidly. To top it off, this is the very last opportunity to prove his belief of the artifact’s location, as the area is about to be dammed and flooded.
Suspicions become threats and the duo must seek help in the nearby community. A part native woman tavern owner, Katherine, and her granddaughter Sarah are a source of friendship and aid, and maybe something more, when Phillips’s past comes roaring back. Every time you think Colby and Jimmy can catch a break, a new twist rushes out of the desert or the past to thwart their efforts.
Calling up the past of the Lewis and Clark trail of the early nineteenth century, avid historians will enjoy this fast-paced fictional journey to explore relationships, dreams, and heritage.
Reviewer Lisa Lickel writes from the peaceful rolling hills of western Wisconsin. A multi-published, best-selling and award-winning novelist, she also writes short stories and radio theater, occasional articles, is an avid book reviewer, blogger, and a freelance editor. She and her husband travel and enjoy family time.
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