Local attorney Kent F. Frates delivers a contemporary crime novel/legal thriller with strong Western overtones and lots of Oklahoma City references “ including Penn Square Bank, Chesapeake Oil Co. and Oklahoma City Zoo “ in “Don’t Never Shoot Short.”
In short, smooth chapters, the story of Cordell’s Deputy Sheriff Ken “Snake” Frasier (note the similarity between names of author and character) plays out, raising the ire of a nutso militia group as the lawman hunts for a crack dealer named “Crankcase,” whose testimony is needed in the murder of a cabbie.
There’s a little too much of the “I stopped here, where I did this” style of exposition, but Frates’ language is funny and surprisingly “ not to mention refreshingly “ raw. It’s not all that often an Oklahoma author dares to get salty, which lends his crime story authenticity. Plus, he wisely made Frasier a wannabe poet, which results in occasional lewd verse, like “The Ballad of Hattie, the One-Legged Whore.”