Monday, July 3, 2017

The Devil's Due (A Jack Carson Story #1), by C.M. Raymond (author), L.E. Barbant (author), Ben Smith (narrator)

Snake and Steel Press, June 2017e

There's been a horrific bombing at a major industrial site in Pennsylvania, and two Special Agents who don't much like each other are off to hunt down the suspected terrorist behind it. They have only a grainy, black and white picture of him, and no I.D. Everyone at the site was killed; the CEO is in Europe and not back yet.

Jack Carson is on the run, and he's got only thirty bucks and a Polaroid of a beautiful woman on him. He doesn't seem like the terrorist type, or any other kind of mass murderer, but he is running from that bombing, and is determined to avoid the authorities.

We don't know why. We do find out that there's something very peculiar about his body, and he must have an interesting backstory that's only hinted at in this story.

Jack figures a small town in Iowa will be as good a place a any to stop for a day's rest. In Ironwood, he meets the town's bar owner, another beautiful woman, and a possibly unwise act of chivalry lands him in the middle of the seemingly sleepy town's internal troubles. He's soon facing the choice of saving the town from its local, rather nasty gangsters, or saving his own skin.

That's assuming, of course, that he can do either before the federal agents catch up with him.

Some things here seem just a bit too pat, but both Jack as a character and Jack's situation are interesting. A novella can't have the depth and complexity of a full novel, but there's enough here to make me interested in the next installment. The narrator reads well, and has a good, clear voice.

Recommended.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from the authors, and am reviewing it voluntarily.