ABOUT THE BOOK
The day All-American Joey Blade turns 18, he learns his ex-girlfriend is pregnant, is betrayed by his new girlfriend, and is arrested for the attempted murder of two police officers. Then things get bad. The high school bonfire is supposed to be the kickoff to a great night: Joey has just won a football scholarship and he’s hoping for a sex breakthrough with his new girlfriend. Then his true love–but ex-girlfriend–Mallory tells his she’s pregnant. He’s reeling from that news when the bonfire explodes. Joey, his new girlfriend and her drug dealer friend TJ, flee in her truck. When the police pursue, TJ shoots at the cop’s car. It crashes and in the ensuing chaos TJ slips away undetected. Joey, the only adult in the truck, is hauled off to jail. Joey is charged with attempted murder and released on bail. TJ is nowhere to be found. When Joey discovers that Mallory’s father is pressuring her to terminate the pregnancy, Joey has to remain free to prevent that from happening. In desperation, he reaches out to notorious gang leader, Chico Torres, whom he met in jail, for help locating TJ. When Joey is offered a deal–his freedom in exchange for his cooperation in nailing Chico–he faces a decision that will change the course of his life and Mallory’s.
Oh boy, how quickly someone’s life can crumble. Everything had been falling into place for eighteen-year-old Joey Blade. He had been offered a football college scholarship, and he had a new girlfriend and hoped to get lucky with her later. That evening at the High School bonfire, he learns that his ex-girlfriend Mallory is pregnant. Then an explosion sends everyone running.
Joey jumps in the driving seat of his girlfriend’s truck, along with her and her drug-dealing friend TJ. The police are soon in pursuit when TJ pulls a gun and fires at the police. When Joey pulls up, his two companions run off, leaving him to take the blame for the shooting. Things quickly worsen when secondary charges are brought against him for underage sex with Mallory.
Whoa, this is all action, and the story has just begun. Joey is a fabulous character with whom I connected from the start. How different his life could have been by just a couple of alternate choices. It seemed that Joey’s life had been taken out of his hands, but there was one person that could make a difference for him.
As no one will believe what he says, Joey takes the only path left for him, but his life will get even more complicated and deadly. It is a gripping read from the start because just being innocent isn’t enough. It is a spiral that intensifies in every chapter and becomes a darker and a heart-pounding page-turner.
What a brilliant second novel from Len Joy. Highly recommended.
I wish to thank Net Galley, the publisher and Anna Sacca for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Len Joy is the author of four books that have have received shining reviews and several awards. Everyone Dies Famous, published in 2020 won 1st Prize in the 2020 Top Shelf Book Awards and was described by Kirkus as . . .a striking depiction of small-town America at the dawn of the 21st century. NY Times bestselling author Kevin Wilson described it as A clear-eyed examination of how we live in an uncertain world. . . .In clear prose, Joy does real work here. I’m grateful for it. His first novel, American Past Time, published in 2014 took 1st Prize in the Top Shelf Book Awards in 2019 for Fiction and was described by Kirkus as . . .expertly written and well-crafted. His second novel, Better Days was a finalist in the Indie Excellence Book Awards in 2019 and described by Foreword Reviews as A bighearted, wry, and tender novel that focuses on love and loyalty.
Len is a nationally ranked triathlete and competed internationally representing the United States as part of TEAM USA. He lives in Evanston, Illinois with his wife, Suzanne.