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DEADOUT by Jon McGoran

deadoutDEADOUT

Jon McGoran

August 2014

Forge Books

 

Detective Doyle Carrick is having some trouble on the job after his last adventure—call it stress, or anger management issues—and it seems that a vacation to Martha’s Vineyard with his girlfriend Nola is just what he needs to reconnect with her and recharge himself. Nola has had trouble finding a job in the city on an organic farm—her specialty—and quickly falls into a gig on the island. The owner Teddy, however, seems sketchy and Carrick is keeping an eye on him—while Teddy is eyeing his girlfriend. Soon Teddy’s father hires Carrick to continue keeping an eye on Teddy and keep him out of trouble while he attempts to close an important business deal. Meanwhile, Nola and her friends are concerned that the bees on the island are dying or disappearing at an alarming rate. A huge corporation is angling to bring in their GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) bees, and protests—with Teddy at the eye of the storm—are erupting all over the island. Carrick and several of the researchers are trying to figure out what is going on with the bees and with the suspicious activity on the island, since it all seems connected. But there are powerful and well-armed forces that will stop at nothing to ensure the truth stays buried—and the profits keep rolling.

 

Detective Doyle Carrick has a smart mouth and takes quite a few hits because of it, but I have to say that this only makes me like him more. I can empathize with a smart ass, and one who can’t help but laugh at the most inappropriate times. But Carrick is also smart, tough and extremely loyal. While it may be his relationship with Nola that gets him involved with the bee crisis on the island, he truly does care about the larger issues and is motivated by doing what is right—not just for himself and their relationship, but for the greater good.

 

DEADOUT is a great thriller with fantastic pacing and strong characters, but what really makes it a stand out novel is how McGoran tackles this incredibly relevant and sobering issue. The decline of natural honeybees is currently a major concern in our environment, and this novel brings home just how far-reaching that impact can be. It also highlights the terrifying implications of big business corporations creating and using GMOs while sacrificing our agricultural and ecological health in order to bring in a bigger profit. DEADOUT is both smart and educational.

Erica Ruth Neubauer