Gritty, in your face, and down and dirty are often words to describe a novel such as the one Jan and I read. We were constantly amazed how the author kept throwing in scenarios that tuned this family saga into something special, something we both found utterly fascinating and definitely one of those books we can refer to as “unputdownable”.
Grit Lit, Hillbilly Noir, whatever you call it, I call it terrific! I listened to this one and loved it. It’s the law of the Wild, Wild West on Bull Mountain. They live according to their own rules and with their own form of justice. Revenge and retribution are meted out mercilessly.
The Burroughs family has ruled the mountain for decades, operating outside the law. When the Feds close in on an operation, they enlist the help of the sheriff, who just happens to be Clayton Burroughs, the one member of the family that broke apart and lives on the right side of the law. The investigation sets off a chain of events that will unearth secrets, bring the past to light, and pit brother against brother. The characters are compelling, the dialogue snappy, and the women are as tough as the men.
A terrific debut that Marialyce and I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend! We are looking forward to book #2 in the series, Like Lions.
Don’t go near Bull Mountains for it belongs to the Burroughs’s family. Invested with genes for the nasty, the evil, and the dangerous, the men of the family from the grandfather on down to his sons and grandsons bring their kind of dark and malevolent forces into play as they deal with the nefarious activities of initially moonshine running, which morphed into growing marijuana, and then to making meth. This is not a family you want to mess with, and all are very aware of the goings on that occur on the mountain and yet there seems little that can be done to stop what some might call a mountain of terror.
All the brothers are bad that is all except one, Clayton, who breaks the mold and becomes a lawman much to the anger and hatred of his family. Add into all this is a federal agent who seems to be hot on the trail to shutting down the Burroughs and enlisting the help of Clayton.
Things turn and twist and the evil side of the family is shown so well by the vile character, Halford. This is a family that has no redeeming value, no morals, and no qualms about killing to justify getting what they think they deserve. Don’t mess with the mountain for it is theirs and no one can enter their realm unscathed and that includes your brother.
Told with a wonderful flair for straight on story telling, this book kept piling on the characters, the twists, and ultimately the idea that family no matter how bad always has ties that bind.
This is a book definitely recommended and as Jan mentioned above, we both can’t wait to tear into the next in the series, Like Lions.
and here’s the author: Brian Panowich
Brilliant one-of-a-kind artists sometimes never find the recognition they deserve because Lady Luck didn’t happen to smile down at the right moment. In fact, they fail to be recognized more often than not. Artists and creators don’t follow the same type of paths to success that most doctors and lawyers do. Finding an agent to take you in and care as deeply about your art is a lot different from just being committed to refining your skill set and getting the proper schooling.
I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, since I was a small boy, that I would grow up someday to write comic books. That changed sometime in high-school when I knew beyond yet another shadow of doubt that I would grace the cover of Rolling Stone magazine as the second coming of Kurt Cobain. (I know, go big or go home.) Neither of those dreams panned out the way I expected them to. I came close a few times, but never got that “lucky” break. When my first daughter was born, my time as a hard-traveling road dog was over. I was okay with that, as another chapter of my life was beginning—fatherhood. The problem was, as anyone reading this can tell you: you just can’t turn it off. We aren’t wired that way. You can try, but it only leads to resentment, misery, and a lot of unanswered questions. At least it did for me.
My writing has always been personal. It’s always been there underneath everything else I did, acting as a shield between me and the world, so it was natural to dive back into it since I was going to find myself at home a lot more often than I was used to. I began to write short stories and publish them online as a way to continue to create. I simply needed to do it. My first story was published in 2012—a flash fiction crime story called “Services Rendered” that I’m still proud of today—and I remember sitting in a chicken joint with my kids when I got the email saying it had been accepted. We got milkshakes to celebrate.
I kept writing those short stories and kept putting them out there. Sometimes I’d get a big fat no, but sometimes I got a yes, and every time me and the kids got milkshakes. Those stories I wrote over the next year or so attracted an agent from New York, and within the next year or so, I’d written a novel and had a highly respected literary agent invested in my career. Doors began to open, and I just stepped through them. I figured if I came to one that was closed, I’d just bang on it until someone opened it, if for no other reason than to quell the noise. This year will see the release of my first novel, Bull Mountain. Will the book be a smashing success? I don’t know. All I can do is keep walking, and in some cases banging, through doors. But I do know this. I know if I had stopped trying, there would be no book. There would be no blog post for me to be writing right now. If I’d decided that I’d failed at comics, or I’d failed at music, or now that I was married with children that it was going to be too hard to continue being a dreamer, then what would have been the point of the past twenty years?
When people ask me how long it took for me to reach this point in my career, they are always surprised to hear that my first story was published in 2012. The normal reaction to that news is to tell me how lucky I am, and they aren’t entirely wrong. I did get lucky, no doubt about it. Luck was definitely at the party, but she wouldn’t have been had not tenacity sent out the invitations.