Spanning some 60-odd years, the Burroughs family are royalty to Bull Mountain, Georgia. Royalty is a stretch, for this outlaw family are involved in drugs, guns and unspeakable violence. All except for Clayton, a 3rd generation Burroughs and sheriff in the neighborhood. He knows what is going on up on the mountain and stays away from the criminal activity until a federal agent with the ATF shows up wanting Clayton’s help in bringing the family down once and for all.
I must say, the opening chapter reeled me in and blew my mind. I knew I was in for a rough ride with this book. Imagine Sons of Anarchy meets Breaking Bad. That kind of dark, disturbing, yet highly addictive storytelling.
This non-linear Southern/Mystery/Thriller/Crime debut is told from alternating points of view and the dialogue is what kept me reading. Books with heavy dialogue only work for me when the voice feels genuine and Panowich got these characters right. And while the dialogue was plentiful at times, he also balanced it out with lush descriptions of Bull Mountain and the people who lived there. I did start to loose steam in my reading about halfway through but then a change in narrative took hold and the story picked back up for me.
I look forward to what Panowich does next because he has the gift of storytelling and keeping the reader entertained. But this is not just some popcorn lit without any substance. If you like your crime/suspense/thriller books that are unputdownable, gritty, with strong character development and dialogue that feels genuine, pick this one up!