Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mississippi Library Association Review - NORTON ROAD

My second novel, Norton Road was recently reviewed by Mississippi Libraries, a publication of the Mississippi Library Association. The review is viewable on the Mississippi Library Association website in PDF format, but it is not easy to link to, so I am posting it here in its entirety, unaltered (except one instance where I corrected the spelling of my last name). I would like to give a special thanks to the writer of the review, Heather Pohl for giving me permission to use her review in promotional materials.


Purdon, Carl. Norton Road. Createspace, 2013. 332 pp. $14.99 (paperback)

Oscar ‘Pap’ Jones is at war. Armed with a small red toolbox and flashlight, Pap leads a campaign of mechanical sabotage and mischief against the “noisy, dirty, sawdust-belching invasion of his privacy” next door, Khane Manufacturing. For two years Pap has conducted nighttime raids against Davis Khane, trying to put the furniture factory out of business. His raids soon cause the owner Davis Khane to retaliate and enlist the help of former deputy sheriff, and aspiring sheriff candidate, Bodie Craig.

Pap’s war with Khane, which includes the unfortunate skunk and microwave incident, comes to an abrupt end when he is accused of murder and hauled off to jail. In order to survive he must destroy Bodie, whose passion for money, power, and a woman he can’t have has quickly turned into deadly obsession.

Norton Road is a multiple viewpoint novel that successfully transitions between the three main characters: Oscar ‘Pap’ Jones, Sheriff Sam Gant, and sheriff candidate Bodie Craig. Through these transitions the reader is able to see the story from all sides, making the characters much more than one dimensional. Purdon gives a clear picture of Pap’s hatred for the factory, Sheriff Gant’s life outside of the small-town police department, and how Bodie Craig’s many passions become one giant twisted obsession. The reader really gets to know the characters; wanting to not only know where they will end up, but also rooting for them along the way.

While Norton Road does not contain strong adult language, it does contain mature themes and is not suitable for young children. The novel will, however, appeal to Mississippians who have lived in similar places as well as anyone who is a fan of contemporary murder mystery fiction. Public libraries, especially those interested in collecting works written by Mississippi-born authors, should consider Norton Road when purchasing for their collection.

Heather Pohl
Acquisitions and Adult Services Librarian Columbus-Lowndes Public Library 

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For more information on me and my novels, please visit my website or join me on Facebook or Twitter.

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