Jul 292014

cover for A Swollen Red Sun by Matthew McBridge. A white, broken down trailer sits in the foreground, the title above it encased in a swollen red sun.Publishers Weekly: Gasconade local McBride (whose previous book was the cult favorite Frank Sinatra in a Blender) gives Breaking Bad fans more down and dirty meth action. Set in Missouri’s Gasconade County, once labeled the methamphetamine capital of the world, this smoldering tale pits cop against dope dealer/desperate redneck against even more desperate redneck. In this rural area, “White-trash pharmacies run from beaten-down mobile homes at the end of dead-end roads would always trade pills for dope.” Deputy Sheriff Dale Everett Banks finds $52,000 in the trailer of meth dealer Jerry Dean Skaggs, and decides to keep it. Jerry Dean needs that money to keep his secret partners happy. The plot spreads out to include more and more county residents, even Butch Pogue in his hilltop compound where he practices a weird religion and keeps his latest “wife” locked in the cellar. You know you’re talking authentic hillbilly when the main characters each weigh 300 pounds.