Books by Mississippi Writers 1996-2010



Louisa Dixon


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By Louisa Dixon Genesis Press (Hardcover, $24.95, ISBN: 1885478399, 10/1998) Louisa Dixon clearly draws heavily upon her unique experience as Mississippi Highway Patrol Commissioner to fashion this thriller. Laura Owen, the novel's fictional appointee to that position, has been dealing rather successfully with good ol' boys much of her life. Two such old acquaintances, who will be her nemeses throughout the novel, open the book with a gruesome act that presages their entire futures. This is no mystery: we know which ruthless bad guys are on a collision course with Laura as she leads a war against drug dealers. We can also predict what becomes of these former classmates of Laura's―that's how two-dimensional they are―though the eventual downfall of one does have its satisfactions. The major interest in this book lies in seeing the inner workings of a skilled group of law enforcement personnel, and the related political journey of one very strong woman through a sexist world largely out to oust her. Dixon's style is matter-of-fact and thorough. She takes us into this perilous, intriguing system of lawlessness and order, connecting highway roadblocks to political roadblocks, and troopers making arrests to the viciously partisan legislators they must petition for pay and support. This journey is so riveting it offsets the flaws of the story, including the plot-convenient marriage of Laura's best friend to one of her enemies. Dixon's portrayal of Laura's emotions as mother, boss, wife and media personality also rings true. By the time you finish this tale of Southern greed and evil, you'll probably look forward to the next book on Laura Owen's continuing job as Safety Commissioner, but won't wonder at all why Louisa Dixon has long since left that position.

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