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Till the Eagle Screams

Clarion Review (3 Stars)

In Till the Eagle Screams, author Paul Rawlings takes the reader on a wild ride based on a series of “what ifs” that seem to have special significance in today’s political climate.

Sheriff Mike Bonner has a quiet life as the head of law enforcement in the small Texas town of Starkville. When a pro football executive comes to town to scout out the local football star, tragedy occurs. The boy is severely injured in a game. A subsequent TV interview with the executive ends in violence and unleashes a chain of events that leads to national consequences.

Excessive media coverage exerts pressure on Sheriff Bonner. His wife Margie agrees to an interview to defend her husband. With its success, she encourages him to consent to an interview.

Bonner agrees to defend his actions on a nationally televised interview and makes a statement about Congress: “In my view anyone who takes money from a special interest, call it what you will, then votes to benefit that special interest—they deserved to be dragged out and shot.” Soon violent acts occur across the country. The public outcry becomes louder and someone must shoulder the blame. Government agencies begin their own investigations.

Rawlings takes on special interest groups, Wall Street, illegal immigrants, racial profiling, Islamic terrorists, and drug dealers in a no-holds-barred ride through vigilante crimes. Sheriff Bonner gets the blame for all of it. “Why the hell do they connect me with THAT?” he asks when a particularly vicious attack on illegal immigrants is discovered five hundred miles from Starkville.

Fed-up citizens create a new party to replace everyone in Congress. The Citizens Party recruits Bonner as its candidate. Party leaders play on the public outcry, inciting in its members a chaotic cry for a renewal of democracy.

Paul Rawlings is a playwright and author. His other works include the play, Major Claude Eatherly Enters into Heaven, and the novel, Randy, Toddler. Rawlings writes with an understanding of unrest and the mob mentality. Even though it is sometimes difficult to follow all the characters, his dialogue is clean and realistic. He develops an engaging plot and moves the story swiftly toward its conclusion.

The timeliness of the theme will generate strong emotions in readers. As the violence escalates, Congressmen and other officials die. Radical thoughts become louder and louder. This is a story that will either attract or repel the reader.

Pat Avery