A Dark and Bloody Ground

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HarperCollins, 1993 - Political Science - 339 pages
Kentucky never more deserved its Indian appellation A Dark and Bloody Ground than when a small-town physician, seventy-seven-year-old Roscoe Acker, called in an emergency on a sweltering evening in August 1985. Acker's own life hung in the balance, but it was already too late for his college-age daughter Tammy, savagely stabbed eleven times and pinned by a kitchen knife to her bedroom floor in Fleming-Neon. Three men had somehow managed to breach Dr. Acker's alarm and security systems and make off with a substantial amount of the cash that he had stashed away in a safe over his lifetime. The killers - part of a three-man, two-woman gang of the sort not seen since the Barkers - stopped counting the moldy bills when they reached $1.9 million. They found that all that cash came in handy shortly afterwards when they were caught and decided to lure Kentucky's most flamboyant lawyer, the celebrated Lester Burns, into representing them. And caught they were, because they refused to lay low, as advised by the gang's most crafty and unlikely member, Sherry Sheets Pelfrey Wong Hodge. Sherry, a former prison guard, had hooked up with chronic criminal Benny Hodge and begun a relationship based on love, credit card scams, and ingenious robberies that kept them comfortably in the middle class. Focusing on Sherry and Benny's bizarre relationship and ten-year crime spree, which had its roots in the Appalachia that bred them and the new South where they blazed their trail, Darcy O'Brien delivers a work of fascinating psychopathology.

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User Review  - BellaFoxx - LibraryThing

Of the three books by Darcy O’Brien I have read I must say I like this one the least. Not to say it’s not a good book. It gets a bogged down in places. The middle part of the book dragged. We get a ... Read full review


User Review  - Kirkus

Hillbilly sociopaths rip off a miserly old doctor and kill his daughter: another first-rate—and lurid—true-crime chronicle from journalist/novelist O'Brien (Margaret in Hollywood, 1991; Murder in ... Read full review

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About the author (1993)

Darcy O'Brien 1939-1998 Darcy O'Brien was an award-winning author of fiction and literary criticism born on July 16, 1939 in Los Angeles, California. O'Brien was best known for his work in the genre of true crime. His first novel, A Way of Life, Like Any Other, won the 1978 Ernest Hemingway award for best first novel. In 1997, O'Brien won the Edgar Allen Poe award for Power to Hurt. His other works include: Two of a Kind: The Story of the Hillside Stranglers, Murder in Little Egypt, Moment by Moment and The Hidden Pope. O'Brien attended Princeton University and University of Cambridge, and received a master's degree and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. From 1965 to 1978 he was a professor of English at Pomona College. In 1978 he moved to Tulsa, and taught at the University of Tulsa until 1995. On March 2, 1998, O'Brien died of a heart attack in Tulsa.

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