Loss. Brian Panowich returns to Bull Mountain and McFalls County for the third time in a novel titled, Hard Cash Valley. Squeamish readers should be cautious when approaching this thriller, since the violence includes both murder and torture. Protagonist Dane Kirby has suffered a lot of loss during his life in McFalls County. His boss has assigned him to work with the FBI on a brutal murder in another state, but the trail leads him back home to a world of chickens bred for fighting, criminal treachery and the hunt for a boy on the autism spectrum. The pace of the novel is rapid, and Panowich builds heavy layers of complexity onto each main character to intensify the stakes and accelerate the action. Fans of crime fiction with a stomach for gore are those readers most likely to enjoy this novel. Through all the loss, there is also love, and that helps point Kirby and other characters in the direction of redemption and recovery. Meanwhile, the bad guys face justice to the satisfaction of readers who have put up with a lot from these criminals.
Rating: Four-star (I like it)