…reviewed for Blackthorn Book Tours
About Thunder Road
When an Army Air Force Major vanishes from his Top Secret job at the Fort Worth airbase in the summer of 1947, down-on-his-luck former Ranger Jefferson Sharp is hired to find him, because the Major owes a sizeable gambling debt to a local mobster. The search takes Sharp from the hideaway poker rooms of Fort Worth’s Thunder Road, to the barren ranch lands of New Mexico, to secret facilities under construction in the Nevada desert.
Lethal operatives and an opaque military bureaucracy stand in his way, but when he finds an otherworldly clue and learns President Truman is creating a new Central Intelligence Agency and splitting the Air Force from the Army, Sharp begins to connect dots. And those dots draw a straight line to a conspiracy aiming to cover up a secret that is out of this world⎯literally so.
This is an immensely stylish novel, capturing the tone, the voice, the mise en scene of a 1940s film noir, and turning it into an atmospheric modern mystery that will leave you with a wry smile on your face and a spring in your step. Beautiful dialogue, perfectly judged for the time. Nice little nods to various real and fictitious characters familiar from the period. Not to mention (though I have to) certain popular preoccupations of the time that drove, much later, a conspiracy theorist’s biggest daydream. It was a time when flying-saucer mania hit the popular psyche with a big thump, and perhaps this is the excuse for the extraordinary film-noir/sci-fi mash-up that the novel turns into. An unusual but fun read.