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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
Valley Heat by David Cropp takes inspiration from Dante's Inferno and gives readers much to think about. This is the story of an alcoholic called Jack Kavanaugh. He is a police sergeant who needs to face his demons and fight them if he wants to survive. His wife Beatrice dies in a car accident and leaves an infant in his care. His little Rachel is everything he has now and he will do whatever it takes to give her a good life, even if it means going to mind-numbing AA meetings. Saying it is much easier than doing it. He needs to confront the demons of his past and accept his indiscretions before he can give what he wants to his daughter. Is peace in the cards for him? Or is he supposed to live his life in misery before it ends?
Valley Heat is darker than I thought and I enjoyed the surprise. The setting is bleak and the atmosphere is a little down the moment the story begins. The fact that the reader knows what will happen to Jack in the future and how his story will end adds to the intrigue. However, the author keeps the surprises coming and makes sure readers are engrossed in Jack’s journey the moment he opens his mouth and confesses to his addiction. The narrative flows smoothly, the story itself is very interesting and the references to Dante’s Inferno made the story for me. Jack is not perfect and he doesn’t pretend to be; he is just a man trying to do his best for his daughter. David Cropp did a lot of research and it is evident in the way the story is written.