The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia is the backdrop of Larry M. Arrowood’s haunting new novel, Bloodroot. A young black foster child dies in a local pond, fueling the suspicions of a retired sheriff who pushes for an investigation into a notorious racist’s involvement in the possible murder. A legal investigation mounts, and there’s more to the deep-rooted racism in this area than meets the eye. A poignant, thought-provoking tale, Bloodroot offers a winding plot that highlights the blackness of hate and the triumph of seeking the truth.
[USPRwire, Wed Apr 15 2009] A gripping new novel that highlights the injustice and cruelty of racism, Larry M. Arrowood’s Bloodroot follows one retired sheriff’s determined effort to make those who commit a race-driven murder pay for their crimes.
Set in 1950s Virginia, Bloodroot takes place after laws are enacted to protect minorities, but long before society’s racism fades. Eddie Shaver, an African-American orphan, is a victim of this cultural bigotry. Placed by the state in the foster care of Hurley Cutshaw, Eddie and his teenage sister Ann are subjected to neglect, abuse and labor exploitation. Ultimately it’s this treatment that leads Eddie to his death.
At the start of the book, Eddie is pulled from a pond after drowning. A retired sheriff, Harry Weatherholtz, suspects this is much more than a simple drowning. Describing an account that lives up to Cutshaw’s evil reputation, Ann divulges that Eddie was forced out into the water by Cutshaw, who wanted him to retrieve a fishing lure. Unable to swim, Eddie struggled and Cutshaw watched him die.
Weatherholtz ??" who himself was orphaned at age five when his father murdered his mother -- pressures prosecutor Jack Brady to investigate. Their case hinges on Ann’s testimony, which is compromised when she turns up missing, presumed dead. In this small town in the Shenandoah Valley, more than just isolated racism bubbles to the surface. To everyone fighting for Eddie, it becomes apparent that this dark river of hate runs deep - so deep that the court system itself is controlled by a group advocating white supremacy.
A provocative novel, Bloodroot is a powerful story about one young man’s gruesome death and the ex-sheriff compelled to come out of retirement to avenge the needless suffering perpetrated by those who put their own beliefs above the law. Arrowood drives this emotionally charged plot with a triumphant theme of justice.
About the Author
Larry M. Arrowood grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of Eastern Kentucky. He graduated from The University of Findlay in Ohio and from Apostolic Bible Institute in St. Paul, Minn. He lives in Seymour, Ind. with his wife Nancy.