Like Lions

Like Lions

by Brian Panowich

Overview: Clayton Burroughs is a small-town Georgia sheriff, a new father, and, improbably, the heir apparent of Bull Mountain’s most notorious criminal family. As he tries to juggle fatherhood, his job and his recovery from being shot in the confrontation that killed his two criminally-inclined brothers last year, he’s doing all he can just to survive. Yet after years of carefully toeing the line between his life in law enforcement and his family, he finally has to make a choice.

When a rival organization makes a first foray into Burroughs territory, leaving a trail of bodies and a whiff of fear in its wake, Clayton is pulled back into the life he so desperately wants to leave behind. Revenge is a powerful force, and the vacuum left by his brothers’ deaths has left them all vulnerable. With his wife and child in danger, and the way of life in Bull Mountain under siege for everyone, Clayton will need to find a way to bury the bloody legacy of his past once and for all.

Deanna Boe (04/29/19): You might be familiar with this author because he wrote BULL MOUNTAIN, his first novel, and it was quite a success. This is a sequel and is definitely one of those books you really should read the first book before this one to actually understand what all is happening. But, saying that, I can’t really recommend this novel as I did with BULL MOUNTAIN. What was most interesting were the comments made by the author at the end of the book. He tells how a fellow friend, who also happens to be a writer, told how writing novels is difficult. Panowich goes on to say that he believes his friend is only half right. He felt writing and re-writing his first novel was pure delight. It was the fact he didn’t know what would become of it made it easier and more enjoyable to write. Whereas the second novel, this one, “was hard.” In short, he obviously didn’t quite know what to do or what the follow-up should be. I could be way wrong on this, and you might actually feel it is the perfect ending for the Burrough’s family, or perhaps there will be more?

Clayton is the younger brother, who just so happens to be the “good” brother, and is the sheriff. Clayton killed his older brother, Garth, in the previous book. Garth had been busy dealing in illegal moonshine and other such things. Unfortunately Clayton was left somewhat crippled from all of these dealings and was now, for lack of a better word, a drunk. He has pretty much decided that he no longer should be sheriff at the start of the book and by the end of the book he knows he won’t be anymore and you agree. You can only hope that the job he is offered to work for the state of Georgia pulls him out of the depression he has been nursing.

The book centers around the fact that once his brother was killed there was a void in the various illegal trades on the mountain. The motorcycle gang and some city slickers (one who use to live in Bull Mountain and had dated Clayton’s wife) decided they wanted to take over the drug trade, and in this case, “real” drugs, not just meth etc. They offered a deal to Clayton to be part of this but Clayton wasn’t interested. Lots of people get killed - Clayton’s wife almost dies, Clayton is in worse shape then ever and so it goes. I figure Panowich’s next book will have Clayton working for Georgia’s Bureau of Investigation, which reminds me of what another author I have enjoyed reading, John Sandford, did for one of his characters in Minnesota. We can only hope once Clayton is out of the mountain people won’t be described as so many rednecks, hillbillies, or meth heads here in Georgia.
Rating: ***

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