SC Native Roger Pinckney Continues To Write About Familiar Surroundings
By: Jeff Walker, Book Review
Steeped in Lowcountry waterways and the sparsely populated barrier islands of South Carolina, Daufuskie Island native and noted author Roger Pinckney pens an intriguing tale in his latest book, ‘Washed In the Blood’. William ‘Rut’ Rutledge Elliot IV is a self proclaimed old school ‘cleansed by the blood of Jesus’ Baptist from his youth, however his adult life leans more toward sinner than saint, questioning whether his born again experience was authentic.
Somewhere between a likeable guy and a local scallywag, Rut favors three things, alcohol, reefer, and the ladies, and not necessarily in that order. His chosen professions include piloting a rustic barge, and growing high-quality marijuana plants for preferred clientele, with both endeavors keeping him at arms length from the law. His day to day seemingly mundane, Rut’s life is about to change when he has ‘a come to Jesus moment’, discovering a set of paw tracks belonging to an wild animal, authorities have ruled non-existent in the state of South Carolina.
With his claims dismissed by the local DNR office, Rut is even more determined to substantiate his findings, devising a less than law abiding scheme to prove the tracks he saw belong to a mysterious big cat. Was Rut high? Did he have one two many? Could Rut have mistaken his discovery for that of another wild animal? No matter the premise, Rut is relentless in his pursuit to prove he’s right.
Pinckey’s latest novel is a wild and frolicking ride thru the low country ranging from Port Royal to the Savannah River. ‘Washed In the Blood’ follows Rut’s perilous plight up and down the river as well as a night in jail. Along the way we are introduced to several savory characters, including a budding romance (after a bizarre dalliance) with a DNR official. Throughout the journey, ‘Washed In the Blood’ and Rut make frequent stops at Mudbank Mammy’s (local hangout), the Friendship Baptist Church, a Juneteenth celebration, and several fishing piers along South Carolina’s intracoastal waterway.
‘Washed In the Blood’ revisits SC history as well as the Gullah-Geechee culture, and is seasoned with just enough Bible verses to complement the title. At 143 pages it is a easy read, ideal for the lake, a beach outing, or sipping coffee on the back porch. Roger Pinckney knows a thing or two about using words to paint low country landscapes, and in ‘Washed In the Blood’ he’s done just that, wrapped nicely in an captivating tale.
At 74 years young, a former world traveler, teacher, and small town preacher Pinckney is a committed conservationist. He has been writing for nearly a quarter of a century with ‘Washed In the Blood’ bringing his total to 10 books chronicling the South Carolina low country. For more on his books visit https://www.thriftbooks.com/a/roger-pinckney/372938/
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