By Creston Mapes
Published by David C. Cook
There's More Than One Kind of Poison in This Town People are sick and dying. Rumors are swirling. Some claim chemicals leaking from a manufacturing plant are causing the cancer that's crippling people on the poor side of Trenton City, Ohio. Yet nothing at the plant appears amiss. The problem remains a mystery until reporter Jack Crittendon's long-time mechanic falls ill and he investigates. Soon Jack becomes engulfed in a smokescreen of lies, setups, greed, and scandal. The deeper he digs, the more toxic the corruption he uncovers. As he faces off with the big-time players behind the scenes and tries to beat the clock before more people die, he realizes the chillingly unthinkable--he knows too much.
I’m thankful for the review copy that allowed me to read the sequel to Fear Has a Name. I was quickly pulled into this story through the believable, quirky and endearing cast of characters and their deadly situation!
One of my favorite characters is Travis Randall, he worked at his family owned and operated garage. Jack Critten, investigative reporter for the Trenton City Dispatch drops his car off at Travis’ shop for repairs.
Jack asks him about Demler-Vargus the company his mom and dad used to work for. Travis tells Jack his dad has documentation that shows everyone that has gotten sick at the plant. They make one product by day and another at night, something deadly is spewing out into the air and hurting people.
Travis Randall reminds me of the tow truck character named Mator in the Disney cartoon Cars. (Yes, I’m watching too many cartoons with my grandson. But hear me out!) I imagine Travis to have the accent and mannerisms of this Mator character. Both of them work in a garage. They are kind hearted, simple men that every now and then get a flicker of wisdom.
Crazy things happen as Travis’s Dad tries to prove Demler-Vargus is responsible for getting the town sick. Travis catches up with an old friend that is at a funeral in town. This is what he thinks about meeting a gal he knew in high school and one of the reason’s my heart went out to this character, “Travis could hardly keep his mind on his new muffler hanging over his head. Claire had lit up his life like a roman candle. She was funny and kind, sensitive and pretty – shoot, she had it all…all he wanted to do was be with her again.”
Travis, his Dad and brother crack me up too. Travis’s Dad says to the lawyer who stops by to see him in the hospital, “Galen. I’ve told you before. Call me Galen. I couldn’ve gone home today if it weren’t for the paranoid doctors round here. So afraid of a lawsuit they keep you till you git sick all over again.” Grin!
This story has it all Greed, black-mail, redemption, suspense and drama with a natural spiritual thread in the mix. Intricately interwoven into the story is a fun, sweet romance between Travis and Claire; alongside that is Jack Crittden chasing down leads to fight politics in a small town and a major giant corporation that doesn’t want to abide by the cities ordinances but make up their own rules! It doesn’t care how many people they take out! Who does he trust?
Creston’s novels thrill as well as challenge readers. You’ll be glued to the page as these flawed people wrestle with uncovering the truth, fighting for justice, having the faith to face their fears and the courage to do the right thing. Can one person make a difference? You’ll be up late to get the answer to that question in the climatic conclusion. I highly recommend this wild ride. Be sure to put this on your book club and summer reading list. There’s so much to talk about!
Reviewed by: Nora St. Laurent
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