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Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite
Unexpectedly reconnecting with a childhood friend, a journalist finds himself involuntarily drawn into a dangerous set of circumstances where death is part of the deal in the breathtaking mystery novel, In the Country Dark (An Appalachian Crime Tale) by Mike Mallow. Due to his confrontation with his last boss, Cabel now has to travel across two counties to go to work. Although inconvenient, Cabel has no other job opportunities left in the rural community of Chancy. When Troy, an old school chum and recovering addict, shows up at the local bar, Cabel stops to talk and get reacquainted with him. While discussing the lack of employment in the area, the inebriated Troy indicates he may know of a lucrative opportunity available in their vicinity that could benefit them both. Although vague about the nature of the job, the prospect intrigues Cabel. However, when he accompanies Troy to their future employer's place of business, Cabel is left in the vehicle at the bottom of the hill. When Cabel notices alarm tripwires and cameras around the area, he is uneasy. The uneasiness turns to consternation when his life is threatened by the local crime boss just for showing up with Troy. Now Cabel wonders what has Troy gotten him into. Can Cabel and Troy escape the powerful man's violent thugs? Or will they lose their lives trying?
The intense thriller, In the Country Dark (An Appalachian Crime Tale) by Mike Mallow, is a dynamic account of big-time crime in a small-town community. It is a cleverly written story with a riveting plot, a vivid pictorial setting, and solid, well-developed characters. Revolving around the two main characters' desperate effort to overcome the childhood scarring effects of their small-town environment, it is a haunting, true-to-life tale. Realistically portraying the difficulties in growing up in a provincial setting, the story creates a marvelous background for the conflict. Flowing smoothly, the storyline crescendos to a dramatic and smashing conclusion. It is a suspenseful and action-filled novel that promises to thrill crime and murder mystery enthusiasts who appreciate imperfect heroes. A spectacular story!