This powerful debut thriller from "a major new talent" (Kirkus) set in a poor, rural community where loyalty is everything, "packs an emotional punch" (Lisa Gardner) as the daughter of a meth kingpin is forced to choose between family, or freedom.
Never cut the drugs--leave them pure.
Guns are meant to be shot--keep them loaded.
Family is everything--betray them and die.
Harley McKenna is the only child of North County's biggest criminal. Duke McKenna's run more guns, cooked more meth, and killed more men than anyone around. Harley's been working for him since she was sixteen, dreading the day he'd deem her ready to rule the rural drug empire he's built.
Her time's run out. The Springfields, her family's biggest rivals, are moving in. And they're coming for Duke's only weak spot: his daughter.
Duke's raised her to be deadly -- he never counted on her being disloyal. But if Harley wants to survive and protect the people she loves, she's got to take out both Duke's operation and the Springfields. Blowing up meth labs is dangerous business, and getting caught will be the end of her, but Harley has one advantage: She is her father's daughter. And McKennas always win.
YA author Sharpe (Far from You) makes her adult debut with a high-tension thriller set in northern California. Harley McKenna, only daughter of North County's widowed drug king Duke McKenna, was brought up hating the Springfields, their competitors in the drug trade on the other side of the river. In order to survive, and to protect the abuse survivors at the women's safe house she runs with Native American woman Mo, Harley embarks on a clandestine campaign to put the McKennas and the Springfields out of commission. In particular, she blows up meth labs on both sides in the hope that each will blame the other. A smart feminist who's relentlessly tough and profoundly compassionate, Harley takes advantage of the gender stereotyping that causes men to underestimate her, while protecting those who have been hurt by its effects. Extensive flashbacks from Harley's youth chart her transformation into a trained killer, giving context to her relationships with Duke's colleagues and enemies. Harley's detailed characterization, especially compared to more role-bound descriptions of the supporting characters, makes her easy to root for as she outsmarts everyone. Even though her plan becomes clear to the reader fairly early, seeing her success in executing it is highly satisfying. This is a deeply affecting story about the complex family dynamics of growing up in the midst of a drug-trade blood feud.)
Couldn’t stop reading...
I believe this is my new “favorite” book, and I read a LOT.
I have to say I don’t always write (what I consider an actual) review of books.
This book really reached out and grabbed me. There are many parts of this book that I am familiar with and not just from growing up in the Ozarks and living in the mountains of Colorado.
I am not a true-blue feminist. That being said, my Daddy raised me to fight and protect myself and my family, as did my Mama. Although, not to Harley’s degree, I am thankful to say.
People are underestimated every day, especially women. That is a mistake, although it plays in our favor.
I was very pleased with how Harley turned things around.
I really enjoyed the time sequence in this book and the way it was portrayed.
Extremely well done Tess Sharpe!!
I look forward to reading more from you.