Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Review: DESPERATION ROAD by Michael Farris Smith

Publisher No Exit Press
Length 285 pages
Format softcover
Published 2017
Series standalone
My Copy provided by the publisher

My Review
A character study set among a backdrop of rural noir well worthy of comparisons to renowned genre writer Daniel Woodrell. A cruel twist of fate unites two wayward souls long gone their separate ways; Russell fresh out of prison for murder, and Maben, a homeless and downtrodden woman with a young child walking a path to nowhere. The two meet at gunpoint, and strangely enough, things get better for the both of them. 

Desperation Road has an impressive amount of character depth which could've easily eclipsed the need for a plot, yet author Michael Farris Smith manages to juggle the core plot and side threads perfectly, making each end loop with the next to form a cohesive narrative that reads so well you'll think you're part of the story. 

The shocking murder of a police officer on a lonesome dirt road in the middle of nowhere is the catalyst which brings the characters together, Maben, trying to escape a threat worse than death, and Russell, out driving enjoying the freedom that being a civilian rewards. The ways these two gel is a pleasure to read as is the twist linking their fates.

Moody and thought provoking, Desperation Road is a must read for fans of the rural noir. 

4 / 5 stars. 

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