Blackwater by GJ Moffatt

*Many thanks to Chris at Fahrenheit Press for my review copy!*

About the book:

Deputy Sheriff Early Simms of the Blackwater County Sheriff’s Department knows about the violence that incubates within the souls of men – and that sometimes it needs a release. As a high school football player he relished inflicting pain, until he made a tackle that left a promising young athlete dead from a broken neck. Early did not play another game and his dreams of leaving the small town that he grew up in never materialised. Instead, he followed his father into the town’s police force.

Now older, Early is outwardly content with the life he has made for himself in Blackwater. But that life is about to be turned upside down. Kate Foley, his high school girlfriend, arrives in town on the run from an abusive husband and it stirs feelings that Early thought he had forgotten.

Jimmy and Marshall Cain are brothers – men with the capacity for the kind of violence that Early Simms knows all too well. A botched home invasion by the brothers goes horribly wrong, leaving a man and woman dead and their teenage daughter kidnapped.

Events spiral further out of control, with the brothers embarking on a killing spree that leads them to a confrontation with Early Simms and an FBI task force. At the same time, Kate Foley’s husband is armed and on the hunt for his wife.

Early is about to find himself in a fight not just for the life he has known, but for the future he has glimpsed in stolen moments with Kate. And to defeat the maelstrom hurtling towards him, he must once again confront the violence in his own soul.

Blackwater by GJ Moffatt

My thoughts:

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of American crime fiction. Most especially when it takes place in small towns. Something about a tight-knit community and the sense that everyone knows everybody’s business really appeals to me. Needless to say, I was eager to read Blackwater as it sounded exactly like the kind of book I would love.

I was not disappointed!

Early Simms is the Deputy Sherriff of Blackwater, a relatively quiet little town on the east coast of America. Chaos descends onto his doorstep initially with the arrival of Kate, his old high school girlfriend, who happens to be on the run from an abusive husband. Naturally, this stirs feelings in Early both as a professional and in a rather more protective capacity too.

Alongside this arrival, there is a much more dangerous duo who have appeared, the Cain brothers, fresh from a home invasion that went dramatically wrong. Violence seems to be their method of communication, and they are intent on wreaking havoc in Blackwater. This causes a host of problems to Early and the residents of the town.

What follows is a riot of action, violence and mayhem. These bursts of drama are interspersed beautifully with rare moments of calm through vignettes into Early’s life both now, and in the past. I genuinely loved Early as a character as he is so well-drawn that its nigh on impossible not to become invested in his fate and that of those he cares about. The reader is rooting for him from the beginning, willing him on and hoping that he can prevail over the evil that the Cain brothers are intent on bringing to Blackwater.

American crime fiction at its best and most gripping, Blackwater will grab you by the throat from the first chapter and won’t let go. Addictive as f***!

Highly, HIGHLY recommended!