In a word, Rayle's novel, The Trial of Billy Running Dog is fearless. This is the portrayal of a man who is caught in one of the many shades of gray labeled by ethnic definition of the world in which we live, Billy Running Dog has been painted into a corner by a society that cannot or will not accept his definition of himself. A "breed," Billy Running Dog is a man who fits no public profile – he is part American Indian, Mexican and white. In addition to his multi-ethnicity, Dog is also a Vietnam veteran, casting him a three-time loser by circumstance rather than design. This could even be called an effort to once again prove the old adage that "the sum of the parts is greater than the whole."
A tormented man who leads a double existence, one as an unreliable and unstable school janitor, and another as a successful author who has the capacity to step outside himself and view the world from a perspective of simple spirituality, Billy Running Dog pulls no punches and spares no feelings in a society made up of black and white issues. He learns through self-discovery the old-world simplicity of spirituality, and earns a place of inner peace that few even dream of in their personal versions of Utopia, let alone attain.
The gritty descriptions of friends, society and situational crime in this novel are vivid and stark, as is the author's no-holds-barred answer for modem-day criminals who would prey upon those less fortunate or, more importantly, the under-armed who choose to trust in the goodness of man rather than escalate the local version of the arms race to a personal level.
The most important part of this refreshing work is that Billy Running Dog is never a victim in any definition of the word. He makes no excuses for his behaviors or thoughts. He is sometimes bitter at the injustices foisted upon himself and others in his particular brand of hell on earth, but never to the point of blaming someone else for his troubles.
Passages in this book are brilliant in their vibrancy and provoke many bouts of philosophical thinking and reflection about the world in which we all must live. The simplicity with which these concepts are conveyed smack of truth, real truth. Rather than rely on hackneyed phrases and concepts, Rayle is an original and unique author who speaks his mind as it pleases him to do so. There are many times in this book when veterans would feel again the rage against a government who send them into harms way for the greater glory of the country only to be shunned when the job was done for them. Trivialized by the general public, abused and ignored by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and generally viewed as psychotic killer-wolves loosed upon the sheep of modem society, Rayle illustrates the pain and hypocrisy incurred by veterans upon their return from a tour of duty with the pin-point accuracy of a cruise-missile strike.
Diego Rayle is a man who will never appear on a daytime talk show to blame society for his treatment at their hands. He is nobody's victim – an extremely rare find in a world filled with those who seek self-esteem, validation, and empowerment from an outside source. Rayle has found and tapped the one true source for these things and more, himself. This book is a must read for everyone who isn't afraid to venture into the realm of introspection.
La Prensa editor