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  • When These Mountains Burn

  • By: David Joy
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 7 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (421 ratings)

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When These Mountains Burn

By: David Joy
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
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Publisher's summary

Winner of the 2020 Dashiell Hammett Award for Literary Excellence in Crime Writing

Acclaimed author and "remarkably gifted storyteller" (The Charlotte Observer) David Joy returns with a fierce and tender tale of a father, an addict, a lawman, and the explosive events that come to unite them.

When his addict son gets in deep with his dealer, it takes everything Raymond Mathis has to bail him out of trouble one last time. Frustrated by the slow pace and limitations of the law, Raymond decides to take matters into his own hands.

After a workplace accident left him out of a job and in pain, Denny Rattler has spent years chasing his next high. He supports his habit through careful theft, following strict rules that keep him under the radar and out of jail. But when faced with opportunities too easy to resist, Denny makes two choices that change everything.

For months, the DEA has been chasing the drug supply in the mountains to no avail, when a lead - just one word - sets one agent on a path to crack the case wide open...but he'll need help from the most unexpected quarter.

As chance brings together these men from different sides of a relentless epidemic, each may come to find that his opportunity for redemption lies with the others.

©2020 David Joy (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Slow-burning.... With memorable characters, deft plotting, and an attention to detail, Joy has written a powerful work of crime fiction." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

"Joy portrays his characters with unflinching realism. Creative turns of phrase and creative colloquialisms move the story forward and keep the otherwise disheartening subject matter full of thrilling surprises. As Southern noir-tinged fiction gains a well-deserved audience, Joy is one voice that never disappoints." (Booklist)

"[An] engrossing drama of violence and vengeance.... Joy's razor-sharp prose details disturbing, graphic images of brutality that begin when Raymond resolves to protect his son.... Joy handles everything with ease, proving himself to be one hell of a writer." (Publishers Weekly)