Review of LET THE GOOD PREVAIL

LetTheGoodPrevailLET THE GOOD PREVAIL
Noah & Logan Miller
September 6, 2016
Rare Bird Books

You’re broke. You poach firewood from the New Mexico woodlands by day, which you attempt to sell door to door, with little success. None of the banks will give you a business loan to build a better future. Your brother came back from the service missing a leg, and he’s still getting in with the ladies better than you are, what with his engagement to the daughter of the local (crooked and cocaine addled) Sheriff. Most days end in a beery haze, some with you masturbating to the sound of your war-hero brother and his fiancée having sex on the far side of the flimsy wall of the trailer you share. I mean…you’re not thinking about your sister in-law to be…that would be gross. You’re thinking about that biker hag with the floppy tits you saw passing through town the other day.

So, what happens when you stumble upon a massive marijuana crop, well-tended and ready for portland-press-herald_3681277harvest, one day at work in the woods?

The Miller brothers, best known for writing/producing/directing the feature films Touching Home and Sweetwater (and issuing a book, EITHER YOU’RE IN OR YOU’RE IN THE WAY, about the making of Touching Home), bring us the tale of Caleb and Jake Boyd. Caleb is the war hero, and Jake the rudderless dreamer. Sheriff Gates has blessed the upcoming wedding between Caleb and his daughter Lelah, but has also snorted and gambled his way under the thumb of the nearest cartel leader, a former professional dancer as brutal as he is eccentric. Guess who the weed belongs to?

LET THE GOOD PREVAIL is quick, bloody, quirky, and darkly funny. I liked it a great deal. I’m putting that up front because, between you and I, I just don’t have a great deal to say about it. It’s mostly standard redneck-noir fare, through quite well-written and with great, believable characters. There are passages of beautiful, stark language interspersed throughout a quick, driving narrative. At first, this sort of feels like two voices battling for attention, but you eventually fall into it. My only major complaint is that I wish I hadn’t known who was attached to the film version, apparently already under production. As far as major complaints go…that’s a pretty stupid one to mention. So, just forget I did.

I highly recommend this novel, and it’s probably my failing as a reviewer that I can’t tell you much more. I won’t compare it to NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, as the cover of my Advance Reader’s Copy does, though I see the parallels. The comparison to A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE (also on the cover) seems more apt, though mostly due to tone and level of violence. I would liken it more to a standalone episode of Justified. But…on Cinemax. With southwestern flavored rednecks. And more Bob Fosse numbers. I’m not going to explain that. Go read it.

MATT MORGAN

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