Reviewer Joe Broadmeadow.
Joe is the author of Collision Course and Silenced
Justice both Josh Williams Novels, and Spirit of
the Trail. Joe is retired with the rank of Captain from the East
Providence, Rhode Island Police Department after twenty years. He was
assigned to various divisions within the department including
Commander of Investigative Services and he also worked in the
Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force as well as on special
assignment to the FBI Drug Task Force. Follow Here to find out more
about Joe and his novels and Here to read his blog.
Author: Joseph B. Atkins
Publisher: Sartoris Literary Group
A Compelling Story Written by a Master of Language
As an avid reader, it is the first few lines of a book that must catch my imagination. More often than not, this is not the case. In Casey’s Last Chance, by Joseph B. Atkins, the masterful use of language to paint the sardonic world of Casey Eubanks takes hold of the reader and never loses its grip.
Eubanks’ life is one of missed opportunities, criminal activity, and sadness. Faced with a challenge of a new “job,” offered as a means of helping him avoid the law, Casey discovers unfamiliar aspects of his character.
The author’s masterful use of language, taut, razor-sharp descriptions, and ability to weave several sub-plots into the main story turns this into a compelling book. The writing is rich yet austere, colorful yet dark, moving the story along at a fast pace.
The descriptions of the locations and people of the various scenes capture the essence of Eubanks’ world. The book takes place in the south and the author’s writing produces a movie in the reader’s imagination. You see, hear, and feel the world as Eubanks stumbles through it.
The author puts you in the car, next to Casey, as he runs from one life to an uncertain future. You see the characters and actions through Casey’s eyes.
You become part of the action’ hearing the sounds, feeling the rain, inhaling the distinct aromas of the south.
Atkins background as a teacher comes through in this novel. The writing is crisp and succinct. There is none of the usual hyperbole or gratuitous violence so common in books today. While Eubanks lives in a violent world, commits violent acts, the author’s ability to paint Eubanks as a flawed but worthwhile human being blends in the violence as integral to the story.
If I were to offer any criticism of the book, it would be that lack of more background story to flesh out some of the other characters. While Atkins does an admirable job of developing the supporting cast; an FBI agent and a driven reporter who form an alliance with Eubanks and the antagonists of the book, a factory owner/organized crime boss that suppresses his workers and assorted thugs and hitman, there is still some room for more about these characters.
If you are a fan of James Lee Burke, Robert Parker, or John Grisham you will find this book both entertaining and leaving you hungry for more from Atkins.
I highly recommended this book.