Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Nothing But the Bones

Nothing But the Bones by Brian Panowich
4/16/24; 336 pages
St. Martin's Press
Bull Mountain #4

Nothing But the Bones by Brian Panowich is a prequel in the Bull Mountain series set in McFalls County, Georgia, following the Burroughs family. It definitely works as a stand alone and is highly recommended Southern crime fiction.

Nelson “Nails” McKenna is a giant of a man who was born with a deformed hand and can be slow on the uptake. He has worked for local crime boss Gareth Burroughs since an incident when he was a teen. When Nails goes too far defending a young woman one night, leaving a man dead at a roadhouse,  Burroughs sends him off with $8,000 cash to Jacksonville, Florida where he's supposed to call a man who will help him. On the start of his trip to Florida, he discovers the young woman he was protecting, Dallas Georgia, is hiding in his car. The two take off together to Florida and become fugitives.

Nails and Dallas are both being pursued by others, including Alex Price, brother of the dead man, and Nails' friend Clayton Burroughs. These two are at crossed purposes and have very different goals in mind. As they are on the run, Nails and Dallas develop an agreement but their alliance is plagued by Dallas' bad decisions.

Nothing But the Bones is full of interesting characters and laden with corrupt people and organizations. It is a tension-filled, engaging, fast-paced plot that will hold your attention throughout. There are twists and surprises along the way, some more credible than others, but all of them serve to propel the narrative forward. Thanks to St. Martin's Press for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

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