It’s 1971, and outlaw driver Calvin McGraw is grooming his 19-year-old son Webb to uphold the family name. Drugs, money, people—the McGraws drive anything and everything.
When a delivery goes wrong, Calvin steps knee-deep in a turf war between his employer, the Stanleys, and a rival Midwestern crime syndicate, but his week gets a whole lot worse when Webb—on his first solo job—loses the cargo.
Praise for LEADFOOT:
“With Leadfoot, Beetner proves he is the one true master of the modern pulp novel.” —Crimespree Magazine
“Beetner populates Leadfoot with characters as rich and lively as any Elmore Leonard novel, and when Beetner punches the gas, you can almost see the McGraw’s middle fingers flying as they invite us all along for the ride.” —Brian Panowich, author of Bull Mountain
“A hell of a fun book. Crazy families, fast cars, a classic crime—it’s just an all-around good time. Fast , funny and thrilling on a classic level.” —Steph Post, author of A Tree Born Crooked and Lightwood
Praise for Eric Beetner:
“To be blunt, he’s the 21st century’s answer to Jim Thompson.” —LitReactor
“Eric Beetner seems to have a formula that he has used for every book he has published: Fun plot + believable characters + witty dialogue + breakneck pace = novel that knocks your socks off.” —Regular Guy Reading Noir
“Beetner has a keen eye on how to plot a book that never allows the reader a chance to catch their breath.” —Out of the Gutter
Set in Iowa in 1971, Beetner's prequel to 2015's Rumrunners combines brutal violence with sympathetic characters. Calvin McGraw, a gifted driver whose talents are much in demand, can't shake his affiliation with the Stanleys, "a family who would call themselves a criminal empire." The Stanleys are enmeshed in a blood feud with their hated rivals, the Cantrells, and the bodies have begun to pile up. Hugh Stanley, the clan's leader, assigns Calvin to pick up a package in St. Louis that's actually a young woman, Joni, who's 20 years old at most, but circumstances force Hugh to pass that duty on to his 19-year-old son, Webb. This is the first solo mission for Webb, who finds it more challenging than he anticipated once he develops feelings for Joni. The stakes rise after Joni gives Webb the slip. Various characters display unexpected but plausible depths, and Beetner effectively balances action scenes with quieter moments. Readers, especially fans of the TV series Fargo, will want to seek out his other work.