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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Toxic Soup by R.R. Rowley is a thriller set against the backdrop of an environmental disaster. After her brother succumbs to a horrifying death at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation due to radioactive spillage, Casey Long, a nature-loving free-spirited woman, is determined to bring justice upon those she feels responsible for his death. Adding to her woes is the cavalier attitude of the people in charge of the facility. With her friend Rex, a fellow kayaker, she stumbles upon evidence of toxic spillage into the Columbia River. Now, alongside her housemate and close personal friend Jett, and a Native American man named Little Bear, she plans an audacious mission to exact vengeance. But is turning her whole life upside down worth the cause? Will she prevail?
A relevant environmental thriller for current times, Toxic Soup hooks you in from the first page and refuses to let go until the end. Author R.R. Rowley's novel follows Casey, a young woman who finds herself navigating extraordinary circumstances after her brother dies due to the negligence of government authorities. The portrayal of government officials passing the buck and refusing to acknowledge systematic failure strikes a chord, and the narrative perfectly showcases that in effect. The characters are well-fleshed out, with realistic personalities and conflicts that make them easily relatable. Despite her extreme reaction to her brother's death, pursuing vengeance through violent means, a part of you can't help but root for Casey until the very end. I thoroughly enjoyed Toxic Soup and recommend it highly.