cover image Missouri Homegrown

Missouri Homegrown

Jesse James Kennedy. Perfect Crime, $15 trade paper (270p) ISBN 978-1-935797-74-6

Debut novelist Kennedy shows some impressive storytelling chops in this high-action, heavy-body-count page-turner. When members of a Mexican cartel arrive in rural Missouri intent on taking over the area’s drug trade, they figure backwoods pot grower Jay McCray and his nephew Jack will pose no great threat. What they don’t know is that the McCrays have been raising hell in this region for generations and that Jay, a combat veteran, is as ruthless and as deadly as they come. The violence quickly takes on medieval proportions, and all members of the 12-man Mexican hit squad sent to assassinate the McCrays are killed, among them an undercover federal agent. Meanwhile, Jay’s equally psychotic brother, Jimbo, has just escaped from prison, leaving a bunch of dead guards in his wake. FBI agent Jill Murphy, working undercover as a bartender in a local watering hole, finds herself in the midst of an all-out war, as the cartel soon sends in one of its deadliest enforcers, along with legions of foot soldiers. Not for the faint of heart, this book should appeal to Don Winslow fans. (Apr.)