Title: Mud Puddlers
Author: Shaun Bailey
Genre: Noir, Historical Fiction
William Black may be the first racketeer to ever hit Las Vegas. He isn’t content “puddling mud,” or pouring Hoover Dam's concrete. He’s more concerned with running “the Black Bank,” an underground lottery complete with runners, middle men—the works. The only thing standing in his way is Simeon Eliason, the boomtown's dictatorial mayor. But does Black fall in line? No, instead he doubles down, and the reason is simple. If Black succeeds, he may never again have to perform hard labor. But if he fails, Eliason will have the proof he needs to send Black to the very back of the bread line, or worse. He could cement Black's legacy as a warning to every gangster intent on creating Sin City.
This is the first book to set the Hoover Dam's biggest myth as fiction, so what are you waiting for? Start your adventure now. Buy your very own copy today.
Mud Puddlers is a gritty historical fiction about the building of the Hoover Dam and the workers who built it. We meet William Black, a low-level racketeer whose passion is running his very own criminal gambling syndicate. He’s got big dreams and the only thing standing in his way is the mayor. He’s got two choices: he cuts in the mayor and it’s a great success or Black’ll be six feet under surrounded by the Hoover Dam’s cement.
It’s clear from the beginning that Bailey has done his research on the construction of the Hoover Dam and the urban myths surrounding it. I give him credit for this because I learned a lot. However, he makes the mistake of assuming his readers are already familiar with said history and dam construction. I got lost several times and had to reread sections.
The grittiness I mentioned earlier is basically men working hard, playing hard and living a tough life as they construct and oversee construction of the Hoover Dam. Strong language and circumstances are peppered throughout the book. Don’t be fooled by the cover as this is an adult noir story and not young adult.
If you’re looking for an adventurous story dealing with what life was like for the workers who built the Hoover Dam, pick up this book right now!
My Rating: 3.5 stars
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Shaun Bailey was born in Flint, Michigan, where boomtowns had a big influence on him. Finding little work, he left these to pursue writing in the style of his role model, John Steinbeck. This migration, together with his career writing about estuaries, led him to pen the novel “Mud Puddlers”; a book about hard-working migrants altering the course of arguably the grandest river of them all: the Colorado.
Bailey lives in Michigan with his wife and two children. He has yet to lay eyes on the Hoover Dam, though he does marvel at its grandeur. What he doesn’t marvel at are small, obsolete dams. That’s why he is donating five percent of this book’s profits to American Rivers. This way, every reader will help waterways flow freely to the sea once again.
Social Media Links:
Goodreads Author Page https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4284625.Shaun_Bailey
Reviewed by: Mrs. N