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Book Review: The Moonshine Messiah



The Moonshine Messiah was written by Russell Johnson and published by Shotgun Honey Books in 2023. You can purchase it on Amazon/Kindle and you can visit the author on Amazon and on social media.



Russell Johnson's debut novel is an absolute winner and the well-rounded and interesting characters within demand an encore.

Mary Beth Cain is a sheriff in the coal fields of West Virginia but her position as a law enforcement officer is complicated. She is also the daughter of a lady who runs a hillbilly crime syndicate and while the sheriff's ties to her family are not strong, they are still there, presenting a whole host of problems for Mary Beth and also, it's a huge headache for the federal government. Mary Beth's brother Sawyer is the cultish leader of an anti-government militia who is hell bent on causing destruction and mayhem and one of their first acts is blowing up a federal courthouse. As if Mary Beth doesn't have enough problems, she is also a target of a corruption investigation and it's headed up by an ex-boyfriend, U.S. attorney Patrick Connelly. Patrick comes in offering a deal to clear Mary Beth of the charges against her, but the deal swings on the demand that she has to arrest her brother Sawyer. The offer is refused but that's before the Feds swarm into town to take out Sawyer in a compound that he and his followers are holding down. Sheriff Cain is certainly no push over and she comes at you with an attitude and a determination to kick ass; and she makes no apologies. The title immediately captured my interest and when I opened the book, I witnessed a woman sheriff willing and able to take on a group of mean, ugly and determined bikers who rolled into her town. I was hooked. Conflict should be one of the most important things that an author works at when sitting down to craft a story. Grade this one an A+ on that note. There is no greater conflict or interest in a story than when someone is pitted against a family member. Hard to put this one down. It has just the right amount of action, dialogue and intrigue to send it flying up the best sellers list. Russell Johnson's debut novel is an absolute winner and the well-rounded and interesting characters within demand an encore. This is a must read!


I give Moonshine Messiah 5 out of 5 stars.


Russell Johnson is a scheduled guest on The Writers Lounge Blog Talk Radio Show #140 on July 10, 2023.

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