Below, I'm happy to review Poison Town, by Creston Mapes. I've long been a fan of Creston's, from his very first book. I received a free e-book directly from him, but was put under no pressure to produce a positive review. Go check out the author here:
Jack Crittendon, a Trenton City, Ohio reporter, stumbles upon the biggest story of his career when his mechanic Galen Randall becomes ill in a similar manner as his late wife. Galen believes the local fiberglass plant's spewing of toxic pollution is to blame for both of their maladies. But Demler-Vargus is a huge company with far-reaching tentacles of power. What is the truth, and does Jack stand a chance of getting that truth out?
Meanwhile, Jack struggles both inwardly and outwardly with forgiving Granger Meade, the man who had recently kidnapped his wife Pamela. Though Meade claims to have found God in prison and wants to apologize to Jack and Pam, Jack will have no part of it. Pamela has forgiven and begs Jack to do the same, but apparently to no avail.
As Jack finds out more and more about the Demler-Vargus cover-up, he relies on co-worker and friend Derrick to help him further uncover the story, unwittingly getting them both into great personal peril in the process. What they find is more than they imagined and enough to get them both killed.
Engaging and easy to read, this story delivers on several levels. Solid writing and plot pacing carries it smoothly, along with interesting and varied characters. The idea of poison's effects—from the Demler-Vargus plant, and from the unforgiving heart of Jack—is clever, and fleshed out very clearly. If I had to complain a tiny bit, I'd say maybe Mapes is guilty of overkill on that part. The reader is smart enough to pick up on all of that without it being drilled repeatedly. But point taken.
Two of my favorite characters are Claire, Travis' girlfriend, and Derrick. Both of them help out their friends in time of need regardless of danger to themselves. They don't give up when things seem too difficult, either. Nice friends to have.
I highly recommend all of Mapes' works, especially Poison Town. To me, it's better than the first in the series, Fear Has a Name. Readers who want suspense melded with strong faith elements need look no further.
(I received a free e-book, but no pressure was put on me for a positive review. All words are mine.)