‘Mockingbird Songs’ is the first novel I’ve read by R.J. Ellory. I was a bit unsure through the first parts on the novel, but after a while I was completely hooked.
Henry Quinn made a simple mistake just before his 18th birthday and ended up paying for it with 3 years in prison. He would have died there if not for the help of his cell mate Evan Riggs. Evan was a country singing star before being sentenced to life for beating a man to death. On Henry’s release, Evan asks him to take a letter to his daughter who he never got to meet.
Henry’s first step on the search for Sarah is the small West Texas town of Calvary where Evan grew up and his brother Carson is now sheriff. Carson claims that he doesn’t know where Sarah is, but Henry is not sure if he believes him. Henry made a promise to Evan and he is not yet ready to give up.
Henry befriends Evie, a beauty in her early 20s. Together they try to find Sarah but no one in the town will tell them anything. Everyone seems afraid to talk and it seems that Carson has control over everyone and everything in the town. Carson trades in secrets and no one dares defy him or vote him out.
Henry and Evie gradually chip away to try to discover not only Sarah’s whereabouts but also the reasons for Carson’s hold over Calvary and the cause of the rift between Carson and Evan.
At the beginning of the novel, the wild west feel just didn’t appeal to me. But R.J Ellory is an amazing story teller and I quickly felt myself drawn into the story and the lives of the characters.
There were two separate stories told through the novel that eventually merged: The story of Evan and Carson growing up in the 1930s and 1940s; and the story of Henry’s search for Sarah in the 1970s.
By the end of this novel I had fallen completely under R.J. Ellory’s spell and I hope to read many more of his novels.
Book Published 2015