Toxic Soup

The Poisoning Must End

Fiction - Thriller - Environmental
272 Pages
Reviewed on 03/24/2022
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Author Biography

R R Rowley has lived coast to coast in the USA, in London, UK, and has spent many years on his farm in Grenada, West Indies. He has owned and operated several companies and was involved in start-ups. Currently, he resides in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State.
Toxic Soup was written in reaction to the ongoing contamination and threat by nuclear waste occurring in my region and worldwide.

    Book Review

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.

Steven Robson

Toxic Soup by R. R. Rowley takes us into the wilds of Washington State, where a deadly store of 53 million US gallons of radioactive waste bubbles into a potential nightmare future no one is prepared to contemplate. This was particularly so for Charley Long when he took up a position with the Hanford Nuclear Reservation; a decision driven by finances with an outcome rooted in tragedy, leading to the fallout that will embrace the lives of many innocent people. One of these people is Casey Long, Charley’s sister and perhaps the closest person to him. Her good life centered around the Columbia River with her friends and family becomes detached as she sets out on a relentless quest to find closure and some measure of balance for the injustices she has witnessed. This balance comes only at the end, and its arrival will shock not just Casey, but all enraptured readers of Toxic Soup.

R. R. Rowley’s Toxic Soup is a quality read that rolls off the pages smoothly, painting vivid and colorful imagery that places the reader deep within the incredible landscapes encountered. All of the characters are likable and unique, with definite personalities which can be related to easily. One of my favorite characters was Lolly, who seemed to be something of an enigma. Outwardly, she came across as someone up for anything, being an explicit stripper, but there was also a sense of reservation to her; a certain hint that she may walk a more moral path than outward appearances would suggest. The greatest gem of all for me though was the amazing ending. This was something I did not expect, and the shock value will not be lost on anyone who reads this wonderful story.

K.C. Finn

Toxic Soup: The Poisoning Must End is a work of fiction in the environmental and thriller subgenres. It is aimed at mature readers and was penned by author RR Rowley. The book follows Casey Long, a bartender in Columbia River Gorge, who resolves to end the poisoning of the local area at the hands of a nearby nuclear reservation after her brother dies as a consequence of it. Together with a local Native American fisherman, Casey devises a risky plan to end the 60 years of poisoning with the help of an eclectic alliance of locals keen to save the environment and their home from toxic waste.

The social commentary in the pages of this book is red hot in terms of its currency and its criticism of the negligence and lack of accountability from the powers that be that have led us towards environmental catastrophe. Author RR Rowley pulls no punches in laying bare the dodging of responsibility that characterizes our leaders so well. In particular, the characterization and development of Casey as her emotional reaction not just to her loss but to the lack of closure and feeling of powerlessness leads her to an extreme course of action. It’s a testament to the author's skill that despite the violence and ruthlessness that Casey develops she is consistently grounded in a way that keeps her relatable and sympathetic to readers. Overall, Toxic Soup is a must-read work of environmental fiction, with a powerful message about accountability, community action, and the lengths that people will go to when they’ve been failed by their leaders.

Barry E Adams, plunkr

Howdy, having been alive thru these turbulent times, cooking Peoples' Stew, I have met individuals who were as passionate as Casey, as "poisoned", WANTING to do something - some too, living into their dark dreams -.... Earth Waters must endure - cleansing - " poisoning" in our hearts & minds must end!