This is my short review for Blacktop Wasteland. For those of you who don’t personally know me, I worked at the Humane Society of Missouri for over 15 years, which put me in direct contact with many horribly abused and neglected animals. Because of this experience, I have grown increasingly sensitive to any sort of violence. And I think anyone who reads it can agree that Blacktop Wasteland is (at times) a violent book.
The book begins by introducing the readers to Beauregard, a loving husband and father with a talent for fast driving, and a criminal past as the best getaway driver on the East coast. He now owns a respectable mechanic shop, but right away it’s clear that the shop is in financial trouble. Beauregard tries to supplement his income by illegal drag racing down rural roads using his dead father’s old muscle car, but when the loser of his latest race fails to pay up, Beauregard gets desperate and agrees to re-enter the criminal world of getaway driving. He plans for this to be a “one-time thing,” but as anyone who has seen any heist movie knows, it rarely is.
And so Beauregard again becomes his alter-ego “Bug,” slipping into his past life of crime, lying to his wife and kids, and getting involved with some seedy characters. What follows is a dark path of revenge, attempted murder, and torture. And that’s pretty much where I stopped reading. I skimmed the ending, but this is a book that I put down and won’t be picking back up.
Because of the content, I can’t speak to how well it was written or the story itself. Therefore, I abstain from making a decision whether to recommend this book. As someone who uses books to escape into new worlds and places, this is somewhere I wasn’t willing to go.