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Nick Harmen and his cousin Zack live in the same rural redneck town in Iowa, are seen frequently at the local watering hole, and are pot dealers. Yet the once inseparable cousins haven’t spoken to one another for twelve years. Zack finally breaks the ice by telling Nick about the bizarre death of Joey, their longtime friend and drug supplier—the biggest—in Junction County. Zack mentions that he’s taking over Joey’s position and wants to know if Nick is interested in working with him. Grudgingly, Nick accepts the offer since he’s hard on cash. But sinister plans underpin Zack’s business, which Nick learns about after Cody, Joey’s brother, is suddenly killed.

Cody Schlegel pens an unnerving tale of drugs and political corruption in his latest novel. The first book in a new series, Schlegel’s story is laced with a well-developed cast that at first glance seems to aptly fit within sub-stories until the plot begins to thicken. Each character is not only tightly woven into Schlegel’s third person narrative, but also serves a vital purpose, especially in the development of Nick, Schlegel’s principal character. Schlegel’s page-turning read is filled with non-stop action and drama—all set within a rural town riddled with plenty of problems, including a racist mindset. Schlegel emphasizes this last point several times throughout his plot, particularly in reference to Michael Brown and Ferguson, Missouri incident.

While racism plays an important part in the overall narrative design, Schlegel focuses much of his attention on relationship building, using engaging dialogue as a key literary element as well as a driving force in narrative movement. Schlegel also keeps his storyline consistently moving by alternating a slew of character scenes, backstories, cliffhanging chapters, and historical information on the town of Junction. An absolutely gripping read, audiences will surely be anxiously awaiting part two in the Junction series.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 239 pages
Publisher CreateSpace
Publish Date 11-Sep-2015
ISBN 97815120044
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue April 2016
Category Mystery, Crime, Thriller


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