By Cody Schlegel
Nick Harmen arrives back in Junction, Iowa, after a narcotics run to find his buddy Joey has been discovered dead. Who killed Joey? What is Nick going to about his narcotics business? What is he going to do about his live-in girlfriend and daughter? Adam Craig is a cop suffering from PTSD. How is he to cope with the future?
This isn’t so much a whodunit, as it is a look into different lives of the cast. It runs a bit like a soap opera.
Nick Harmen: 29, pot dealer, drives a Dodge Ram, father dead
Ryan Harmen: 23, Nick’s cousin, pot dealer
Zack Harmen: 30, Nick’s cousin
Will Craig: married, deputy, 56, black, played football in college
Adam Craig: Will’s son, former military, cop
Bruce Harmen: Nick’s brother, drives a Chevy Silverado
Tori: dirty blonde hair, has daughter
Rick Hensley: county sheriff, 6′, 51, slender, former Marine
A lot of characters and I think a fair amount of detail so you know each one. Most everybody, unfortunately, is a bad guy or is into committing some type of crime. Even some of the bit players aren’t straight.
Pretty surface stuff. No long conversations and just a bit of character development with the dialogue.
Here where I have the problems. There’s some profanity and racial slurs but no big deal on these.
What I had trouble with was following the story because there were abrupt scene changes with no scene breaks. This is where the soap opera feel came about. The story jumped from scene to scene and character to character. The author over used the word ‘meanwhile’ and ‘back in’ as in Back in town or back at this person’s house. After awhile, every time I ran across these words, I couldn’t help but hear that deep voiced guy from the Superfriends cartoons – “Meanwhile…back at headquarters!”
Most of the story was ‘telling’ instead of showing. Rarely did we get very close to emotions or internal thoughts. The narrator stayed distant and omnipresent. I didn’t feel close to any of the characters.
I didn’t understand Adam’s role in the story other than to make an extended book, to have a side story going on. There were tenuous connections to the main plot, but his PTSD problem was never shown to be resolved.
I don’t know whether it was the formatting of the specific file I have or if it’s common amongst others, but in several cases there were XXXXs or ****s to denote years, locations of towns near Junction, and in one case the name of a hospital. If it’s my formatting, then no problem. If it’s seen in others, then there should have been actual numbers or words.