The setting for Deadman’s Bust is Humboldt County, California, the not so well-kept secret area where tons of pot are cultivated. For two brothers, close throughout life, harvest time is just around the corner for what’s now their own small piece of land in Shelter Cove. Suddenly, however, they’re busted in a DEA raid that’s not quite kosher. The older of the two brothers, John, just before he is taken prisoner, manages to tell his brother, Mike, to get out while he can. Mike protests, John insists, and Mike skedaddles, steps ahead of the law.
And the action doesn’t stop for the entire 247 pages of the novel, with Mike dodging cops and the DEA, then dodging crooked cops and the crooked DEA, until finally he makes a deal, hoping to save John. In addition to dodging cops and the DEA, Mike’s also dodging the Colombian cartel. Until he ends up making a deal with both the DEA and the cartel. Confused? No fear! Author Cory Marchese, a first-time writer, manages to bring everything nicely and cohesively together.
The story moves from Northern California to Mexico, then back again, with plenty of action all along the way. For a first novel, Deadman’s Bust shows a tremendous amount of promise for better things to come. While Marchese does seem to lose his way in a few areas, most of the book is quite consistent and makes for a great story.
I also noted a few places where the writer either ran out of ideas or ran out of patience, leaving some areas dissatisfying to this reader. In addition to utilizing the services of a good editor to help him through the rough areas, there are some typos and misspellings. It wouldn’t have taken much for this fairly good book to become a very good book, and I sincerely hope Marchese continues to write, and that he recruits a good editor along the way. And put me down to review his next try. I’m confident his next novel, assuming he goes along with the suggestions, will be a big hit.