Publishing Date: April 2019
Publisher: St. Martins
Publisher’s Description: Clayton Burroughs is a small-town Georgia sheriff, a new father, and, improbably, the heir apparent of Bull Mountain’s most notorious criminal family. As he tries to juggle fatherhood, his job and his recovery from being shot in the confrontation that killed his two criminally-inclined brothers last year, he’s doing all he can just to survive. Yet after years of carefully toeing the line between his life in law enforcement and his family, he finally has to make a choice.
Review: This was a conflicted read for me. As the novel came to an end, there were no exclamations of wonder as to the profound impact the story line had on my being. More like air escaping a slowly flattening tire. Here’s why.
Sheriff Dingus…..er, Clayton roams around in a world of constant inner negativity. This condition is bludgeoned into the reader page after page between trysts of drugs and alcohol abuse. The trope of “Down and out lawman solving a problem bigger than himself” is often used by writers to manufacture an easy story line in hopes of a movie deal. Although Clayton is written very well, there is nothing really different about him. He is basically a negative asshole for most of the novel, and this is somehow supposed to make us sympathetic to his plight. His wife on the other hand, is an interesting piece of work and should have been expanded upon to widen her more visceral side.
The bad guys are typically Deliverance style bad in both demeanor and countenance with the usual acts of casual killing littered throughout the novel. The instances are not real believable and tend to be artificially expanded to include any Film Producers that are lurking in wait. All the women are hillbilly hot and the men, repugnant or ruggedly handsome. The idea that in the modern age, one family controls everyone and everything through fear, is Hollywood genuflecting, at it’s best.
To me fiction is best served skittering along the fringes of reality and this did not take me anywhere near it.