The Water Tower Club

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Libby Coombs of Grotin, Kansas, has been arrested for attempted murder. The evidence against her is damning: she was caught on video, before forty-three witnesses, stabbing Bobby Hobson in the neck with a nail file. Her only luck comes from the fact that she missed his carotid artery; just half an inch more, and there would have been no question of “attempt.”

Despite all the evidence mounted against her, her older brother, Darryl, knows there must be more to the story. Though he hasn’t seen her in ten years — hasn’t been back to Grotin in ten years — he doesn’t believe Libby would have stabbed Bobby without good reason. He would like nothing more than to leave Grotin behind once and for all, but he can’t leave his sister in jail, facing attempted murder charges. He throws himself into the hunt for the truth, stopping at nothing to uncover her reasons. What he finds is not any cut and dried explanation for murder, if there ever is any. Instead, he uncovers a story of local politics and corruption, one with very personal stakes for Libby.

It’s been said a lot lately that the personal is political. The Water Tower Club takes this in a slightly different path from the usual, showing yet another meaning to the phrase. It isn’t only political policies that can affect people’s lives (though they do, in this book as well as the real world). It’s politicians as well, and the people who at times allow them free reign. The book reminded me of another phrase: power corrupts.

Mayo does a brilliant job at interweaving past and present. Darryl has a good reason for wanting to stay out of Grotin, and bit by bit, it’s revealed. Just when you think you know everything, there’s one more piece lying in waiting. Every bit of it felt believable. Every bit felt necessary. I was stunned by the realism as well; every interaction felt like something that happens in the real world, in any rural town. Even so, this book is not a cautionary tale set in Anytown, USA. Grotin has its own distinct feel, its own grit which leaves a unique taste in the back of the readers’ mouths. I was thoroughly sucked in by this book and could not recommend it more.

But what impressed me most was the scope. While most political thrillers these days deal with national or global problems (and I would know, having reviewed my share of them), The Water Tower Club is the first I’ve found lately to focus on one small town. It’s a refreshing change of pace, and I hope this is a niche that is soon filled with more books.

Reviewed By:

Author BK Mayo
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 274 pages
Publisher Fir Valley Press
Publish Date 2019-Jan-15
ISBN 9780981588445
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue January 2019
Category Mystery, Crime & Thriller


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