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on Jan. 29, 2014 :
From the interesting history between Hedwick and Robert, to Tommy’s tragic backstory and beyond, J.R. Hobeck’s Smokestack blends a large wealth of characters and lives into a tale of small-town Indiana under assault from military secrets. Except, it may not be the military, and the secrets may not be entirely American. Real-world concerns, from school levies to winding roads, combine with science fiction action, twisting the threads of small-town relationships as a strange and dangerous artifact appears in a quarry. Not all details have relevance, but all details will surely have been researched by the new protagonist as the story unfolds. And surprise revelations, both physical and existential, eventually clarify the need for such full disclosure.
With so much detail and backstory, Smokestack is not a quick read. But it’s a fascinating tale that keeps the reader turning pages and satisfies with a nicely unexpected and intriguing outcome.
Disclosure: I was lucky enough to “buy” a free ecopy.
(reviewed 9 months after purchase)