Mercy me! Well, Brian Panowich shows no mercy with his stories, ok maybe not entirely true. He pulls out the big guns here in more ways than one with Hard Cash Valley. It’s another winner for me and Brian Panowich is setting the bar for me with my new favourite genre. He has been called the new master of Southern Noir and I am his newest fan.
I just found Brian Panowich‘s books not too long ago and was able to read Bull Mountain, Like Lions and Hard Cash Valley back to back. What an experience that is. I loved the setting to the stories and the connection to the characters it has. I am not sure I experience dynamics between the setting and characters like I did here with these books. I highly recommend starting with Bull Mountain and reading them together. Now Brain doesn’t hold much back with the violence in the books and maybe you might need to pace yourself with that, but he has some magic here when it comes to creating memorable characters.
Things start off fast and furious and I’m sure I stopped breathing at times with the tight tension that filled the air around me while I was reading this one. The plot is heavy and the violence is heart-stopping and I needed to take some breaks to bring my heart rate back to normal. I couldn’t stay away for long because Brian Panowich has created another tougher than nails, damage, interesting and likable main characters here with heart that shines through all the violence in his stories with Dane Kirby is a retired fire chief and part-time GBI investigator. He is pulled into a murder investigation, and a race against time to find a child to keep him safe.
Dane Kirby is such a likable, interesting character and there is a love story here between him and his dead wife and his girlfriend. It brings some warmth to the story, along with some conflict to his personal life. My heart broke for him and I rooted for him at the same time.
The action in the story sets the pace for an entertaining read here, despite the violence to the story. I found myself liking all the different characters here from our likable characters, some questionable characters here with their actions and to some horrible characters that added entertain value to the story for me as well.
The ending did push things a little bit on believability but the characters shined through for me right to the end
I received a copy from the publisher on NetGalley