Born in Austin, TX; married, 1992; wife's name Beckie (a graphic artist). Education: University of Texas, B.A. Hobbies and other interests: Deer hunting.
Professional copywriter and novelist. Copywriter at advertising agencies in Austin, TX; freelance writer, 1991—.
Buck Fever: A Blanco County, Texas Novel, Minotaur (New York, NY), 2002.
Bone Dry: A Blanco County, Texas Novel, Minotaur (New York, NY), 2003.
As a professional advertising copywriter, Austin, Texas native Ben Rehder decided that, after years of writing other people's prose, it was time to tackle something of his own. Inspired by the novels of Carl Hiassen, he drew on his love of Texas and his passion for deer hunting to pen his debut novel Buck Fever: A Blanco County, Texas Novel.
Cracking the cover of Buck Fever, readers meet Blanco County Game Warden John Marlin, whose circle of responsibility increases dramatically after a poaching discovered on a private game ranch turns out to be a dead man in a deer suit. Ranch owner Roy Swank, a man with political connections and a taste for the good life, is disgruntled to have the Circle S ranch filthy with police investigators as it is hampering his drug-trafficking business. While Marlin butts heads with the town sheriff, Swank gets a visit from his suppliers in South America, at which point both the murder investigation and Swank's peace of mind start to unravel in a novel a Kirkus Reviews critic praised as a "briskly, paced, amusing, … [and] altogether promising debut." Equally positive reactions were expressed by Booklist contributor Frank Sennett, who maintained that quirky characters, a fast-timing plot, and "some clever one-liners" place Buck Fever "within shooting distance of Hiassen." Particular note was given to Rehder's prose in Publishers Weekly, the reviewer there calling the writing "confident and vigorous" and the novelist's voice "quintessentially Texan and relentlessly wry."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 2002, Frank Sennett, review of Buck Fever: A Blanco County, Texas Novel, p. 1933.
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2002, review of Buck Fever, p. 997; July 15, 2003, review of Bone Dry: A Blanco County, Texas Novel, p. 942.
Library Journal, September 1, 2002, Rex Klett, review of Buck Fever, p. 217.
Publishers Weekly, August 26, 2002, review of Buck Fever, p. 47; August 18, 2003, review of Bone Dry, p. 61.
Ben Rehder Home Page,http://www.benrehder.com (April 8, 2003).
Books'n'Bytes,http://www.booksnbytes.com/ (April 8, 2003), Harriet Klausner, review of Buck Fever.
Mystery Reader,http://www.themysteryreader.com/ (October 31, 2002), Cathy Sova, interview with Rehder.*