Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bull Mountain - Book Review

As a fan of books like Serena by Ron Rash and A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash and television shows like Justified, I knew as soon as I read the blurb about Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich that I would be a fan.

The Burroughs have run Bull Mountain in Georgia for generations. Adapting from running moon shine to marijuana, to meth, the Burroughs are fiercely protective of their mountain and their way of life. Clayton Burroughs, the youngest brother, tried to escape the law-breaking clan by becoming the sheriff in the valley. As long as Clayton minds his own business and leaves the "family business" to his older brother, the family maintains a sort of truce.

A federal agent has come to town and approached Clayton about making a deal with his brother. The deal is tempting but is the risk to the fragile peace and the potentially violent fallout worth it?

It actually took me a little while to get into Bull Mountain. The initial excess of violence and the absence of characters that were more than just plain bad threw me off. I put the book down, read something else and then came back to it. On returning, I was much more intrigued by the people. They began to develop from their initial type cast characters and became complex, though still mostly vicious. As their motives and intentions become obvious, the novel transforms from a screen play for an episode of Justified to a thrilling Shakespearean family drama.

If Rand had any disposition to read lately, Bull Mountain would be the book I'd recommend. Instead, I frantically told him the exciting conclusion and ruined it all--because I couldn't resist talking about it as soon as I could breathe again. I will refrain from doing that here. Read it. Enjoy it. In the meantime, I'll shelve my copy of the book right next to the novels of Elmore Leonard where it belongs.

Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich is published by Putman and released on July 7, 2015.

**I received a complimentary copy of Bull Mountain. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.**

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