Authentic and Gritty – Five Star Literature
Jeffrey Mays showed me what is in the art of the possible with his debut novel, The Former Hero.
I hadn’t read anything as good in the genre of experimental literature since the early ’70s when Ishmael Reed wow’ed me with The Last Days of Louisiana Red. My appetite for classy writing is once again fulfilled.
When Moira Flax rouses from a substance-enhanced stupor, only to find her daughter missing, she immediately assumes the worst. Only luck would land her on the back of Angus’s Harley, but it would take more than luck to save her and her daughter Penny from the corrupt and filthy world led by Mayor Robert Knox.
Former “good cop,” Lt. McCarthy is hard wired to “do the right thing” and risks all, to rescue the city and its citizens from the depths of crime and violence controlled by Knox and his cohorts. The story takes place as the cold of a winter season casts a dark shadow over the decrepit city that could be anywhere USA. Mays created the perfect feel for readers who enjoy a “noir-esque” mystery.
The city has a history and Mays offers just enough awareness of the loose links that spring the city’s tragic past, generations forward to the state of affairs at the story’s clever conclusion.
The Former Hero is a novel that will provide readers with a lasting impression. I haven’t stopped thinking about the plot or the characters since immersing myself in the first chapters. Each of the character’s backstories is perfectly synchronized to keep any reader’s interest. I hope Jeffrey Mays can crank out another masterpiece like this one soon.