I’m thrilled to be on the next stop for the Desperation Road Blog Tour by Michael Farris Smith. Desperation Road is published by No Exit Press on 23rd February 2017. As always don’t forget to check out all the other fab stops on this tour!
First up is the Blurb:
A novel set in a rough- and-tumble Mississippi town where drugs, whiskey, guns, and the desire for revenge violently intersect
For eleven years the clock has been ticking for Russell Gaines as he sat in Parchman penitentiary in the Mississippi Delta. His time now up, and believing his debt paid, he returns home only to discover that revenge lives and breathes all around.
On the day of his release, a woman named Maben and her young daughter trudge along the side of the interstate under the punishing summer sun. Desperate and exhausted, the pair spend their last dollar on a motel room for the night, a night that ends with Maben running through the darkness holding a pistol, and a dead deputy sprawled across the road in the glow of his own headlights.
With dawn, destinies collide, and Russell is forced to decide whose life he will save his own or that of the woman and child?
This is the thrilling story of two apparently unconnected, but broken people who are down on their luck just trying to make their way in the world, despite the inexplicable odds.
Russell has just been released after an eleven-year stretch inside for a crime he feels he has finally been punished for. As he steps off the bus in his hometown he is set upon by two brothers out for revenge.
On the same day, a desperate woman named Maben, with nothing left of her former life but a black sack and a young daughter, seeks refuge for the night at a truckers pit stop. But when she makes the decision to try and make ends meet, she ends up risking her own life and that of a local deputy’s life.
When their paths cross Russell is forced to step up to the plate and save the lives of Maben and her daughter, Annalee, if he has only hope of salvation.
Wow – I literally read this in two sittings!
What can I say without giving too much away? The narrative is compelling and seamlessly blends the parallel stories of Maben and Russell together, taking the reader on a heartbreaking story of regret, revenge and hope.
I loved both these characters and couldn’t help but sympathise with their plights. This just showed the skill of the writer who manages to weave compassion and action into the narrative without it ever becoming too overpowering.
I also loved the setting of this novel within a run-down Mississippi town full of booze, woman and lawlessness.I thought the author’s beautiful descriptions evoked a lot of imagery for me as the reader, which in turn pulled me into the story and felt like I was right there with the characters.
This is a novel I wouldn’t have necessarily picked up to read on first glance, but I am really glad I did. I would highly recommend this – it is a fantastic and compelling crime novel set in a small American town with a cast of characters you cannot help but empathise with.
I would like to say a big thanks to No Exit Press and Anne Cater for my advanced review copy.
About the author:
Michael Farris Smith is the award-winning author of Rivers and The Hands of Strangers. Rivers was named in numerous Best Books of the Year lists, and garnered the 2014 Mississippi Author Award for Fiction. His short fiction has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and his essays have appeared with The New York Times, Catfish Alley, Writer’s Bone, and more. Two novels are forthcoming, Desperation Road (Feb 2017) and The Fighter (2018) with Lee Boudreaux Books, a specialty fiction imprint with Little, Brown. He lives in Columbus, Mississippi, with his wife and daughters.
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