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A novel by Livermore author John G. Bluck, “Death in the Holler,” was reviewed this month in Publishers Weekly Magazine, a trade publication for booksellers and literary agents.

“Murder, gangs, and black-market marijuana run rampant in the testosterone-filled thriller,” according to the review. “For Southern murder mystery fans, this whodunit and its heart-of-gold protagonist will hit a bullseye.”

The novel pairs Kentucky game warden Luke Ryder, an alcoholic on the brink of being fired, with his best friend, county sheriff Jim Pike, to investigate the murder of a Louisville gang member on a rural farm during black powder hunting season. As the action evolves, Bluck also tells the story of Ryder’s struggle against his addiction to alcohol.

Bluck retired from NASA in 2008 as a public affairs officer and had been chief of imaging technology at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California. He also produced documentaries for NASA at the Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and is a former news cameraman and Army journalist.

“Death in the Holler” was released in June 2020 and is available locally at Towne Center Books in Pleasanton and Livermore. The review can be read at http://bluckart.com/booklifereviewdeathinholler. Bluck also wrote a mystery novella, “The Knight Prowler,” about a fictional murder in Livermore.