Sunday, February 23, 2014

Poison Town by Creston Mapes

I like suspenseful novels and this is a good one.

This is the second in The Crittendon Files. In the first novel, Fear Has a Name (see my review here), Jack Crittendon went after the man who kidnapped his wife.

Now Jack, a reporter for a newspaper, is after a story his editor is reluctant to let him investigate. There is a major industry in the city that doesn't want the story printed at all. It looks like they will stop Jack from exposing their deadly greed no matter the cost.

This is a great novel that follows Jack on two levels. The first is his investigative work uncovering the deadly practices of a fiberglass manufacturing company in Trenton City. When Jack drops off his car to be repaired at a shop near the fiberglass plant, he finds out from his friends Travis and LJ that their dad is sick. The men are sure it is the same thing that killed their mom. The fiberglass manufacturer. Jack sets off to find the truth.

Underneath this level of the story is Jack's attitude toward the man who kidnapped his wife, Pam. Granger is out of prison, is being discipled by Evan and claims to be a new man. (See Fear Has a Name for the background on these people.) Pam has managed to forgive Granger but Jack struggles. He's not reading his Bible very much anymore. When Pam confronts Jack on his attitude, he realizes his unforgiveness is affecting his marriage and his trust in God.

This is a well written novel (better than the first in the series). Pam has matured as a character. She is a stronger woman because of her experience. Jack is dragging his feet. It takes some serious action to get him to the place he needs to be with his wife and with God.

There is plenty of suspense involved. Everyday people turn out to be bold and willing to pursue the truth. I was impressed with how Pam's mother rises to her responsibility.

And there is a little humor too. Travis and LJ, Jack's car repair friends, are quirky guys. They are devoted to their pappy and their friends. They bring a little levity and a “down home” attitude to a serious novel.

This is a great suspenseful continuation of Jack's story. You might be able to read this book on its own but would miss much without knowing the events from Fear Has a Name.

Creston Mapes was himself a reporter in an Ohio town very similar to the one in this book. He is a journalist, copywriter, and editor working from his home in Atlanta. In addition to his novels, he has ghost-written and edited seven nonfiction titles. He is married to his hometown sweetheart and they have four children. See more at

David C Cook, 368 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this honest review.

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