Reviews for Another kind of Eden

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Ten years after dropping him in Houston, Burke picks up the story of Aaron Holland Broussard in 1962 Colorado. The story is as eventful as ever. When Aaron, Spud Caudill, and Cotton Williams, all of whom work at Jude Lowry’s dairy and produce farm, make a delivery in Lowry’s truck, a pair of tough guys, incensed at the United Farm Workers bumper sticker Aaron never noticed, beat them up. As if to rub salt into the wound, the ringleader’s father, Rueben Vickers, brings his son out to Lowry’s to demand an explanation for how his boy Darrel got bruised. Aaron, a man who’s “incapable of deliberately doing wrong” even when he’s “surrounded by evil,” doesn’t lose his cool, but the serious moral judgments he levels against the old man provoke Rueben to whip him on the spot. His head-over-heels attraction to cafe waitress/painter Jo Anne McDuffy doesn’t offer much relief: She’s slow to reciprocate his interest, and her involvement with Henri Devos, the smarmy, self-satisfied art professor who’s borrowed $500 from her, is murky and gets even murkier once Aaron meets hophead Marvin Fogel and the other pre-Haight groupies Devos is hosting in a school bus. As usual, Burke orchestrates a series of escalating encounters between Aaron and the Vickers father and son that promise a violent release, but this time the violence is mostly withheld (except for the obligatory backstories and some nameless prostitutes recently killed) until the ending, which has all the intensity of a fever dream and not much more explanatory power. The haunted hero is last spotted near Flagstaff, from which fans will surely look forward to hearing more. And more. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.