DiscoverContemporary Fiction

Boll Weevil


Must read 🏆

A brilliant, page-turning read set in the deep South – an excellent political thriller.

I was wrapped in this book as soon as I started reading it. Michael Drummond is a black lawyer who has just won an important and lucrative case. Daniel Riley, his old school friend and debating partner, is a lawyer and would-be politician from the same town in conservative Georgia. The action, interestingly, is set in a not-very-distant future in which Trump has won the 2020 election, but the political scene at the local level is much the same as now - corrupt, racist and parochial. When Daniel sets out to win the elected position of Commissioner of the district from tobacco mogul Leon Darby - with whom Michael's already crossed swords - you know it's not going to be straightforward.

One of the things that I really liked about this book was the depth of the portrayal of the characters. Michael, Daniel and their wives are likeable, believable and nuanced. Leon Darby is a villain, but he too is nuanced - pathetic at times as he tries to hold on to the power that's slipping all too surely from his grasp. His corrupt cohorts - the 'meth cop' and the lawyer - are both disgusting human beings and - human beings.

Radford's style is immaculate, his conversations (with that southern US flavour 'y'all') so exactly reflect the way that real people speak that you feel as if you're watching a movie. The dilemmas are played out in a way that's gripping yet realistic. Is marijuana really any better than tobacco? How can a liberal son really understand and respect the moral principles of a father who voted for Trump? How far should a wife support her husband when his ambitions lead them towards possible failure and disgrace?

Radford's book is more than just a political thriller and potboiler - this is real literature, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Reviewed by

I'm an author but I also read a lot. I do especially like to read books by high quality indie authors, because you often get original and unconventional work which wouldn't have been picked up by the major publishers.


About the author

James Radford is a lawyer living and working in Decatur, Georgia. James was raised in Troy, Alabama and spent summers on his family farm in Todd County, Kentucky. James has a law degree from UGA and a Bachelor's in English Literature from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. view profile

Published on September 13, 2019

Published by

90000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

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