Everyone has authors they can depend on for a certain kind of story. I can read Nora Roberts if I’m feeling like a romance novel, Stephen King if I want something that’s going to frighten me, and Greg Iles if I want to enjoy a great Southern story. I can always depend on David Joy’s writing to be a dark, gritty, visceral story that takes place in the armpit of the South.
I discovered his writing with The Line That Held Us and since then have collected all of his books. With his newest novel, All The Mountains Burn, we follow Raymond as he goes to unimaginable measures to help his drug-addicted son who seems to be too far gone already. The book opens to him coming home to find he’s been robbed of everything that wasn’t nailed down by his son who surely pawned it all for the little bit of money that would give him.
I loved this book! I have managed to live my life with little exposure to addiction. One of the things I enjoy about reading is it gives me a lens to view other paths of life that I can’t relate to. David Joy’s amazing writing capability is so vivid that it felt as if I was sitting right next to these characters as they went to desperate measures chasing their highs and as they injected the substances into their veins. (Trigger Warning for anyone who has a hard time reading about drug abuse or usage.) If I have to catch my breath after reading a scene, that’s some damn good writing. Those scenes alone warrant a five-star review from me. Whatever the Oscar equivalent award for writing is, give it to David Joy.
If you like Greg Iles, Ace Atkins, John Hart, or Michael Farris Smith and have not read David Joy, please get this book. I follow David Joy on social media and he seems to recluse in the woods, fishing, hunting, and creating masterpieces that will disturb you and take you to the underbelly of the South where the vile and broken fester.