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- LEN JOY
WHEN HIS BOYHOOD FRIEND VANISHES, A MAN WHO HAS COASTED THROUGH LIFE ON THE FADING MEMORY OF HIGH SCHOOL HEROICS, RISKS EVERYTHING TO SAVE HIM.
The FBI? What had Billy done now? And why did they think I was involved? I had to take a breath and replay in my head what she had just said. The FBI wanted to talk to Billy. That was really bad. But if they couldn?t have Billy, then The Federal Bureau of Investigation wanted me. Darwin Burr was wanted by the FBI. That was a hundred times worse than bad. When I got stopped by a small town cop for speeding a couple years ago I was so nervous it took me five minutes to find my car registration. There was no way I could talk to a real FBI agent.
They had a parade for Darwin Burr years ago when his team won the state title.
He?s coasted through life on that memory. Still lives in Claxton, Illinois ? but the bucolic farm town now simmers with racial tension. He has a cushy job working for his wheeler-dealer, boyhood friend, Billy Rourke. He has a country house, a healthy 401K, and still drinks for free at Clarkie?s Bar.
His wife Daina, who escaped from Latvia and never looked back, disdains Darwin?s lack of ambition. She?s consumed by her job helping Claxton?s underclass and has little time for Darwin or their daughter, Astra.
When Billy arranges for Darwin to assist Astra?s high school basketball coach ?the mysterious and flirtatious Fariba Pahlavi ? Darwin stops coasting. He discovers a passion for coaching. And Fariba.
Just as Darwin is getting back in the game, Billy vanishes, the FBI wants Darwin?s help to find him, and Darwin learns his wife?s secret past has put her life in jeopardy.
Darwin knows Billy?s guilty, but he can?t betray his friend, and he?s falling in love with Fariba, but can?t abandon his wife. He has no good choices, no winning shot, and in this world heroes don?t get parades.
??The moral and ethical questions raised by his own actions, and by the actions of those closest to him, are part of what keep these pages turning: the reader is keenly interested in finding out what choices Darwin will make. A great read by a writer who just keeps getting better and better?.?Sands Hall. Author of the memoir, FLUNK. START. Reclaiming My Decade Lost in Scientology, and of the novel, Catching Heaven
"? Len Joy knows men, and as a woman reader, I like getting inside men's heads. Strange as they are, they have troubles and desires and they make mistakes, oh boy, and when they figure that out, they have feelings, too. No fancy stuff. No mumble jumble interiority. This is Do Something, Find Out What Happens, Deal With It?Len Joy is ? solid Americana."?Sandra Scofield - National Book Award Nominee
?Len Joy combines lyrical language, unflinching insight, and a kind of rough-edged masculinity to unique effect. His work is a nuanced study of small town life and the deceptive allure of the American dream.?? Abby Geni, Author of the novels, THE WILDLANDS and THE LIGHTKEEPERS