Dirt: Evil in the Heartland
Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Market)
Dirt, Danny, and Booger. The boys struggle to escape bucolic fly-over country, and define their lives beyond the dirt roads, dust, tractors, cold and the dysfunctional relationships that grow wild in the same dirt as the wheat, durum, corn, and oats.
The trio takes you down the unpaved roads of Arvilla, North Dakota, population 313, to their farms, in a close-up look at the little-known life of farming in rural America. Conflict, loss, abuse, and misbehavior pervade their interactions and are accommodated and accepted by all as part of the secret life on a farm. It’s just nobody’s business.
One boy escapes, only to regret the new, exciting life he was so sure he wanted and worked hard to attain. The other two young men remain in Arvilla. Only the gruesome discovery of a female body at a meat processing plant, and the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of many other young women, reunites the three friends when one of them is accused of the horrifying serial murder of women with profiles on a dating site.
Plot/Idea: 5 out of 10
Originality: 6 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 6 out of 10
Overall: 6.00 out of 10
Goetz's novel focuses on three teenage friends who grew up in a small town in North Dakota and are reunited by the grisly discovery of a dead body, a rash of missing women, and a serial killer who feeds his victims to pigs. Big on imagination and gory details, this novel is both engaging and truly disturbing. Solid prose and sympathetic characters make for an entertaining read that is not for the faint of heart.
Date Submitted: September 20, 2016