Savage Reckoning Book Review

Savage Reckoning Book Review

Title: Savage Reckoning: A Backwoods Justice Novel
Author: C. Hoyt Caldwell
Published: October 4, 2016, Alibi
No. of Pages: 363
Cover Price: $2.99 Kindle

Ever wonder what it would be like to live in the backwoods of Tennessee? Ever wonder about the lifestyle of a bona fide hillbilly? Savage Reckoning: A Backwoods Justice Novel will answer your questions. Dani Savage is a deputy in the small town of Baptist Flats, Tennessee. She is petit, and has almost no experience, but like most things that happen in this hillbilly town, she is hired because she is the niece of the Sheriff. As Dani works hard to gain respect from other law enforcement officers, as well as the residents of the town, she meets the mother of a girl who has gone missing, who insists that law enforcement has done nothing about the disappearance. As Dani delves into the case, she discovers that young girls have been going missing for years, and while she investigates, she learns first-hand about the corruption and the hold a powerful family has on the town residents.

This novel has plenty of sex, violence, and language, which would normally make it unsuitable for many readers. However, in this case, these attributes set the scene for the novel and give readers what seems to be a true-to-life taste of the low-classed, hillbilly lifestyle and the fact that they don’t value life like mainstream citizens. There are two interesting characters, Kenny and Step, who are employed by a mafia-type family as “close-out kings.” Neither feels remorse for their killings, but both are upset over a small girl who disappears, and they team up with Dani to get to the bottom of what turns out to be dozens of missing girls.

As the story builds, there is palpable suspense. Readers will not know who to trust, or who is behind several murders. Dani and her uncle, the sheriff, are in constant danger, since they don’t happen to be corrupt like most of the law enforcement officers in the small towns surrounding Baptist Flats. Kenny and Step have been hired to close them out.

While this novel isn’t a particularly fast read, it is quite well-written; the hillbilly type idioms and improper grammar make the characters seem real, and will make readers thankful that they don’t live in Baptist Flats.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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