Monday, March 03, 2014

Poison Town by Creston Mapes

Poison Town
Creston Mapes

Whenever I pick up a novel by Creston Mapes, I know I am in for a wild joy ride; one I never want to finish.

Mapes has outdone himself with Poison Town, the second book in The Crittendon Files series.  In the first book, Fear Has A Name, report Jack Crittendon faced the kidnapping of his wife by an obsessed ex-school friend of hers. In Poison Town, Jack must come to terms with the fact that the kidnapper is now out on parole, and living in the same town as them.

As Jack battles his unforgiveness and mistrust, he uncovers a story that not only puts his family in further danger, but also the lives of many others. When Galen Randall, the father of Jack’s mechanic, becomes sick, Jack learns of the rumors surrounding Demler-Vargus, a fiberglass manufacturing plant. Many of Trenton City’s residents close to the factory have been falling ill from mysterious illnesses and dying. But not all the deaths appear to be from sickness.

The deeper Jack digs, the more suspicious circumstances come to light. But someone is out to stop him from learning the truth. Galen is poisoned while in hospital, a neighbor with inside information on Demler-Vargus goes missing, and Jack is unable to contact an ex-work colleague who abruptly left town while working on a story about the plant. When someone tries to run his wife off the road, it becomes much more personal to Jack.

In his pursuit of the truth, Jack comes under attack from all angles; the highest offices of Demler-Vargus, his editor, and even his own wife. Can Jack bring justice to the corporate giant while saving both his marriage and his job?

Mapes blends gritty characters, nonstop action, and high pressure tension throughout a well-crafted novel that will keep readers glued until the grand finale. Woven beautifully throughout the bumper ride are themes of fear, forgiveness, and justice.  By the time you finish reading this book, I am sure I will not be the only one eagerly awaiting the third instalment of The Crittendon Files. 

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