New Jersey has always seemed to be the butt of people's jokes. Even the state's motto, "The Garden State", seems a deliberate attempt by somebody to set it up for a fall given its reputation as an industrial wasteland and dumping ground. However, the seaside board walks and sandy beaches of its coastal towns once made it a haven in summer time for families of all incomes. While beaches were segregated by class, the wealthiest to the poorest could enjoy cooling off in the heat of the summer in its sheltered coves. Even today the boardwalks remain and people converge on the oceanfront in places like Asbury Park to surf and swim.
While the beaches may not have changed all that much, inland things aren't as nice. With the failures of industry and the loss of jobs the fastest growth business is recreational chemicals. Crystal meth, crack, heroin and ecstasy are where the money is and those looking to make a quick buck have moved in to stake out their territories. In Rob Scot's new release from Orion/Gollancz, Asbury Park, Detective Sam "Sailor" Doyle returns to the family home in New Jersey to recover from injuries received in the line of duty. He knows he'll find things have changed for the worst since he was a teenager, but nothing can prepare him for the nightmare he's about to walk into.
While Sailor was heralded in the news for being the hero who saved the life of the President and prevented a madman from infecting the east coast of the United State with the plague (for details see Scott's previous release 15 Miles) there's a darker reality hidden beneath the headlines. Plagued by personal demons, Sailor hadn't been completely sober in years. By the time of the events described in the previous book he had stooped to the level of stealing prescription drugs from crime scenes to feed his Oxycocete addiction and was cheating on his wife. This summer's trip back home is being made not only in the hopes he can recover physically, but is an effort to salvage his marriage and his life.