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The Yards


The Yards

When you get a feeling that something is not quite right, you really should pay attention to it. Otherwise, be ready for the consequences. Git O’Rourke ignored that warning nagging at the back of her mind, and she paid dearly.

Git, a single mother, has worked hard to get to where she is, which actually isn’t very far at all. But she started at rock bottom, in the Yards, the seediest part of Baxter, a town barely holding on as its businesses keep dying. Anxious to escape a terrible home life, Git married young but quickly learned that she had made a big mistake. The only good thing to come out of the marriage was her daughter, Charlie. It didn’t take long before Git sent the guy packing. After him, she swore off men. She doesn’t need a man. Until she does.

"THE YARDS is told from alternating viewpoints...very different people with very different goals. It’s the intersection of their lives that makes A. F. Carter’s novel so explosive."

Occasionally, Git has an itch that wants scratching --- just a one-off, nothing long-term. So, one fateful night, she gets all dressed up in a slinky dress, heels and a hat to help shield her identity, just in case. Then she heads off to one of the swankier dives in Baxter to find a suitable stranger with whom to spend a couple of hours. The encounter doesn’t go well. In fact, it’s a disaster.

The following day, Git sees the news about the murder. The man’s body has been found in Room 909 of the motel. That’s not the worst of it, though. Thousands of dollars have gone missing from the room, money that belonged to a local drug lord. Connor Schmidt and his family don’t take kindly to people stealing from them. So the hunt is on to find the thief. As for the police, they want the killer.

By now, both the police and Schmidt are on the lookout for the lady in the hat. Surveillance cameras at the bar and at the motel give them that much, but mercifully --- for Git --- they don’t show the woman’s face. All that does, though, is buy her a little more time, as she’s well aware. Living in the Yards taught her a lot about the streets and the lowlifes on them. Her mother, for instance, is one of those lowlifes, except that she now lives with Git and Charlie. The woman wouldn’t survive on her own anymore. Still, Git knows better than to trust her.

On the case are Detective Delia Mariola and her partner, Vern. That’s a lucky strike for Git because Mariola pays attention to details. She refuses to put blinders on or buy into what others may think is obvious. However, she does believe that Schmidt is involved somehow and that he’s after the lady in the hat. So who will find out the name of the lady in the hat first? No surprise, Git doesn’t trust the police, but she definitely wants nothing to do with Schmidt. It’s a game of cat and mouse at this point. All of the players are smart, but the one with the best strategy will come out the winner.

Git may be an earthy young woman, with base desires and urges she probably shouldn’t indulge in, but she’s honest --- about what she wants, where she wants to go in life, and her love for Charlie. She had a rough childhood, so she will make sure that her daughter doesn’t go through what she did…as long as she can stay alive, which she is determined to do. All of her traits, the good and the bad, make Git a very likable character.

THE YARDS is told from alternating viewpoints --- Delia Mariola, Git O’Rourke, Connor Schmidt --- very different people with very different goals. It’s the intersection of their lives that makes A. F. Carter’s novel so explosive.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on October 1, 2021

The Yards
by A. F. Carter

  • Publication Date: September 6, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press
  • ISBN-10: 1613163649
  • ISBN-13: 9781613163641