Like Lions (Bull Mountain, #2)
Clayton Burroughs is sheriff of Bull Mountain and last surviving member of the brutal and blood-steeped Burroughs clan. It's been a year since a rogue government agent systematically crippled the family's criminal empire, leaving two of his brothers dead and Clayton broken and haunted by wounds that may never heal.Now Bull Mountain is vulnerable, ripe for predators wanting to re-establish the flow of dope and money through the town. And the death of a boy belonging to a rival clan brings the wolves straight to Clayton's door.The only good son born of a crooked tree, Clayton wants to bury his bloody family legacy for good. But he'll need to call on it if he wants to save his family, and his mountain, from the destruction that awaits.

Like Lions (Bull Mountain, #2) Details

TitleLike Lions (Bull Mountain, #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 30th, 2019
PublisherG.P. Putnam's Sons
ISBN-139780399173974
Rating
GenreFiction, Thriller, Mystery, Crime, American, Southern

Like Lions (Bull Mountain, #2) Review

  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Pulse-pounding. Jarring. Wily. Mesmerizing. Elevated.A rare literary feat, Like Lions is even more impressive than its predecessor, Bull Mountain. Yeah, I said it. I kind of had to. What Brian Panowich pulled off here, with the elevation of this sequel, is something that almost never happens. I think what makes Panowich’s accomplishment even more noteworthy—other than the riveting qualities of the storyline and characters—is his frankness. If the 4-year span between releases isn’t enough of an i Pulse-pounding. Jarring. Wily. Mesmerizing. Elevated.A rare literary feat, Like Lions is even more impressive than its predecessor, Bull Mountain. Yeah, I said it. I kind of had to. What Brian Panowich pulled off here, with the elevation of this sequel, is something that almost never happens. I think what makes Panowich’s accomplishment even more noteworthy—other than the riveting qualities of the storyline and characters—is his frankness. If the 4-year span between releases isn’t enough of an indication of the struggles he faced while attempting to write this book, maybe his own words will be, “writing a second novel is hard”. In the Acknowledgments, Panowich owns up to the mounting expectations and pressure that came along with extending the Burroughs storyline, as opposed to starting with a blank page. For me, despite the clever plotting showcased in Bull Mountain, the tidy conclusion didn't exactly scream for a sequel. In hindsight, had there been any indication Panowich would take things to this height, I would have been singing a much different tune. The character growth, exploration of morality and family presented within these pages, makes Like Lions an essential addition to the Burroughs storyline. So, kudos to Panowich for raising the bar.Carried over from Bull Mountain is Panowich's skillful plotting and attention to detail. Like Lions opens with a jarring prologue—set in 1972—that poses a possible answer to one of the lingering unknowns surrounding the Burroughs clan. That particular night in question is incredibly emotional in some respects and defeating in others, setting the tone for what’s to come.When readers come face-to-face with Clayton, he’s no longer the level-headed pillar of moral strength he once was. Now a complete and utter mess of a man, he gives those around him little choice to but to sit back and watch as the guilt and physical pain gnaws on his very being. His bouts of self-medication and regret bleeding over into his relationship with Kate, their baby Eben, and his duties as sheriff.Being the sole Burroughs man left standing means the aftermath of the family’s drug and gun running empire set atop Bull Mountain has now fallen to him—wanted or not. With escalating tensions from outside families looking to step in and take over, Clayton has little choice but to work with his childhood friend and brother Hal’s second in command, Scabby Mike. Wrapping up loose ends is the only way to ensure his little family’s safety and put an end to the criminality of Bull Mountain. On pages gritty to the touch, Clayton’s newfound acceptance and borderline appreciation for the older brother he distanced himself from so long ago unfolds. His wavering thoughts and feelings at constant odds with his steadfast morality. And he's not the only one in the thick of it. Pushed to the brink, his wife Kate finds herself in fight mode—holding on to that badass title she awarded back in my Bull Mountain review. And, with what readers will probably now come to expect from Panowich—no pressure or anything though—another wow-worthy finale. Just in case my words haven’t adequately conveyed my feelings to this point, Like Lions left quite the impression. From beginning to end, the characters, revelations and Panowich’s very words proved to be mesmerizing. The pages practically turned themselves. Be it a third Burroughs novel or a new family to contend with, let’s hope Panowich finds the words and soon. *Thanks to Minotaur books for hosting a giveaway! I was one happy girl when I won and this beauty landed on my doorstep. That win in no way shape or form influenced the thoughts I expressed in this review. I wholeheartedly enjoyed this second go-round with the Burroughs.
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  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    NOW AVAILABLE!!!The key to a happy ending was knowing when to roll the credits before the next tragedy struck.before sitting down to write this review, i wanted to verify how long it had been since Bull Mountain came out, and according to goodreads, i finished reading b.m (heh) on january 19, 2015, and i finished reading THIS one on january 19, 2019. THAT'S WEIRD, RIGHT?it’s a shame about all those years in between, but i gotta say- this sequel was absolutely worth waiting for. i really liked Bu NOW AVAILABLE!!!The key to a happy ending was knowing when to roll the credits before the next tragedy struck.before sitting down to write this review, i wanted to verify how long it had been since Bull Mountain came out, and according to goodreads, i finished reading b.m (heh) on january 19, 2015, and i finished reading THIS one on january 19, 2019. THAT'S WEIRD, RIGHT?it’s a shame about all those years in between, but i gotta say- this sequel was absolutely worth waiting for. i really liked Bull Mountain, but 2015 was a year in which i read a LOT of grit lit, and i was worried that after four years, there would be a lot of oldlady memoryblur and i'd be scrambling to find my footing in this follow-up. and i was, a little, at the beginning, but once panowich started dropping in little refreshers along the way, it all came rushing back, and honestly, i liked this one even more than Bull Mountain. this book is the perfect middle ground between grit lit’s tendency to either lean in and embrace nihilistic lawlessness or to polarize the “good” and “bad” characters. here, sheriff burroughs is barely holding it together a year or so after the explosive events that occurred at the end of Bull Mountain. i’m going to try to avoid spoilers, but suffice it to say that he’s still recovering from his injuries, and he’s drinking a lot and taking painkillers, which is straining his marriage, his work performance, and his focus. the power and protection his criminal family’s name once had over the mountain is on the wane, which is allowing outsiders to flex their muscles and attempt to make inroads into the region, and burroughs needs to make some difficult choices about how much of his character is determined by the law and how much is determined by birthright or blood, especially when the safety of his wife and infant son are threatened. kate burroughs is my new favorite mama-bear badass. she’s fierce and capable and stoic and patient - whether she’s dealing with the problems in her marriage or facing down a more immediate threat. she never comes across as unrealistically endowed - she’s not a superhero warrior type nor a strategic mastermind, but she’s someone who has grown up in an environment that requires a certain amount of self-sufficiency and a willingness to get one’s hands dirty, literally and figuratively, and she rises to her challenges with a plausible amount of quick-thinking, survival instinct, and doing what needs to be done, even when it is something as comparatively low-stakes as cutting down a tree that had some significant emotional value to her: A fungal rot had begun to cover the tree - a fuzzy gray cancer too far-spread to try and stop. At seven months pregnant, Kate spent an entire day cutting it down with a homemade pole- saw and a rusted-out chainsaw she’d never even touched before that day. With every limb that fell to the ground, her heart broke a little more. That’s how it was sometimes. No massive blow from an axe, just a series of little daggers and cuts that left you a sobbing mess in the heat where there used to be shade.…The saying goes, if something doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger, but the past year had taught Kate better than that. Just because something doesn’t kill you, doesn’t necessarily mean it makes you anything at all. Sometimes this world can summon up just enough meanness to beat you to the brink of death, but you don’t die. You move on, and all you do is recover. That recovery isn’t the result of some newly imagined inner strength, it’s just the stubborn refusal to feel any more pain. What doesn’t kill you, makes you numb, was truer to the point. The tree was dead. She salted the stump. She moved on. what shines for me the most in panowich’s writing is his characters, and the balance he maintains with his readers’ sympathies. there are a lot of gray areas here, both in the legal sense and also in how a character is perceived - there are some irredeemable baddies, for sure, but even those are people who have been whittled down by drugs, pride, ambition, low intelligence, misguided ideas of honor, etc. the majority of the characters are straddling the moral divide, and while our loyalties are with sheriff burroughs, as compromised as he may become, it’s hard to not feel some empathy towards some of his adversaries. this gives the story a sense of realism - these aren’t heroes and villains; they are people making decisions that come from living in-between the big-picture laws of the country and the codes and customs of the mountain, having to create their own opportunities. panowich knows when to use restraint and he knows when to be unflinching in his violence. and WOOF, there’s some tough stuff here.tough, wonderful stuff. i did anticipate the *gasp* at the end, but i also appreciated the way he handled the reveal - it wasn’t a LOOK AT THIS THING I AM DOING!, it was a casual, "if you didn't notice the breadcrumbs i dropped, here is this sandwich anyway," and, like the rest of the book, it was handled very thoughtfully.i got this from netgalley, but i am for sure going to buy a hard copy of this whenever it finally, actually, gets published here. oh, and a question - was nails mckenna in Bull Mountain? i feel like i should remember a character like that, but i honestly don’t, and he is balls-out fantastic. **********************************************i do not understand the publishing history of this book. the UK, head of zeus release was a year ago and there are promises of a summertime 2018 US release in this article, which happened? didn't happen? but then there's a feb 2018 putnam edition listed here on gr? but is maybe a ghost? and then bn and netgalley and other sources seem to be listing the official US release as april 2019, with st martin's. i don't know what to believe. all i know is that i was waiting for this book forever, and some of you fine folks seem to have gotten your hands on it long ago, which would ordinarily make me very jealous but it's on netgalley now, so that would be a pretty foolish waste of my jealousy. here we go now.come to my blog!
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  • Annet
    January 1, 1970
    Great followup to Bull Mountain. Again, dark & grim & gritty, great writing. Reads quick, keeps you on the edge of the seat from start to finish. More to follow, would definitely recommend these two books to those who like crime and dark stories. And who can stand a pretty grim story. Love the deep red cover by the way.
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  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    January 1, 1970
    I've been drooling for this book since the very second that I finished it's predecessor Bull Mountain. I will admit...that book is hard to top.Was this one as good? NoIs it still worth it? TotallyThe story is set a year after the events of Bull Mountain. The family legacy of the Burroughs clan has pretty much ended. Clayton is not the man that he was in the first book. And let's be honest, for me the whole first half of this book pretty much had me not liking him in the least. AND I don't mean t I've been drooling for this book since the very second that I finished it's predecessor Bull Mountain. I will admit...that book is hard to top.Was this one as good? NoIs it still worth it? TotallyThe story is set a year after the events of Bull Mountain. The family legacy of the Burroughs clan has pretty much ended. Clayton is not the man that he was in the first book. And let's be honest, for me the whole first half of this book pretty much had me not liking him in the least. AND I don't mean that he had to be perfect. I like flawed characters. I don't mind if they bend some laws, heads whatever...things need to get done. You can't fault a guy that. It just seemed like his character in the first book was so fleshed out. This character seemed written by someone else trying to be Brian Panowich. I'd one star the first 45% of this one.I will admit that right before the halfway point in this book I was tempted to throw in the towel. I'm very glad I didn't.Because...if that first half was a one...the second is a full on five star. I got wrapped up in the story and once stuff and thangs started happening I was entranced.By the time that the reason the book is titled Like Lions came out..I was cheering. And then that little twist for the ending. I was going to three star it but I just can't because of that. I buddy read this with Becky and Dan 2.0 even though they knew I was a slacker in the reading dept lately.
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    !! NOW AVAILABLE !!This story begins with a reflective prologue, set in the year 1972, back when Clayton’s family was still whole, living under one roof. A mother, father, and two brothers, filling in some gaps from the past, and then continues in the present.The Burroughs family has lived on Bull Mountain for generations, but in the present time, his brothers are both gone, as is his father. His mother hasn’t been in his life for as long as Clayton can remember. The generations of men that cam !! NOW AVAILABLE !!This story begins with a reflective prologue, set in the year 1972, back when Clayton’s family was still whole, living under one roof. A mother, father, and two brothers, filling in some gaps from the past, and then continues in the present.The Burroughs family has lived on Bull Mountain for generations, but in the present time, his brothers are both gone, as is his father. His mother hasn’t been in his life for as long as Clayton can remember. The generations of men that came before him were moonshiners, then marijuana growers, and then meth, only Clayton’s turned his back on the family business, but business keeps trying to pull him back in. Now it’s OxyContin. The Leek clan means to run OxyContin through the county and all they’re asking is for Clayton to turn a blind eye. The Viners have plans of their own. When his wife and infant son’s lives are threatened, what’s a sheriff to do? Should he -can he - rely on his team of somewhat inept law officials, who are no match for his enemies, to keep them safe? Or should he turn to his ancestral criminal ways? Where this excels is in Panowich’s transportive prose, the emotionally raw and beautifully descriptive details that share the beauty of this rural area, and the determination of these people. Perhaps especially Clayton, whose body and soul bear the scars of the wounded so that you can’t help but feel his physical pain with each step, as well as his emotions as they come to the surface. ”Clayton was the exact opposite, he held onto everything. He hoarded guilt and pain the way some people did magazines and newspapers until it just became part of the everyday landscape.” From the Prologue to the Epilogue, and all the pages in between, this covers the good, the bad, and the ugly in life. Poignant moments throughout keep this from being one tense moment after another, wrapping things up with an astonishingly fantastic conclusion that I never saw coming.Call it grit-lit, southern-lit, hillbilly noir, whatever you like, just read this expressively electric, incredible return to Bull Mountain.Pub Date: 30 Apr 2019Many thanks for the ARC provided by St. Martin’s Press / Minotaur Books
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  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    Clayton Burroughs is a shadow of the man he was once. Still with physical scars, it is the mental scars he cannot get over. Forced to do something he cannot forgive himself for, he has tAken to drink in a big way. His relationship with Kate is stressed because of it, but he hopes that at least the illicit trade on Bull Mountain has been stopped. Hope springs eternal, but reality bites. Money is missing, and where money is involved, trouble comes looking.Brutal, a very big, bold and brutal story. Clayton Burroughs is a shadow of the man he was once. Still with physical scars, it is the mental scars he cannot get over. Forced to do something he cannot forgive himself for, he has tAken to drink in a big way. His relationship with Kate is stressed because of it, but he hopes that at least the illicit trade on Bull Mountain has been stopped. Hope springs eternal, but reality bites. Money is missing, and where money is involved, trouble comes looking.Brutal, a very big, bold and brutal story. Truth to tell, a little more brutal than I can usually handle, but there is something about these characters that draws me into their lives. The thin line between good and bad, the forces within a person that keeps them moving even when they want to quit. Plus, I just love kick ass women, and that definition certainly fits Kate. Love the little details strewn about in his writing as well.Clayton must find his way to the answer to his question, "Would he be the man at the top of the mountain or the one crushed underneath?" You may grimace, be tempted to look away, but you won't be bored while reading this fast paced story. Also an revealization will be given for a thread left hanging in the previous book.ARC from Netgalley.
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  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    January 1, 1970
    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/1500th review. That’s proof I have no life a milestone moment. It would have been great if I had some knock-my-socks-off-everybody-best-run-and-get-it-immediately 5 Star rave or (even better) a 1 Star flamefest. Buuuuuuuuut it’s me who tends to fail despite her best intentions so you get this. On the bright side, Like Lions was my most highly anticipated release of 2019 and it made me break the “I don’t like to read sequels” S.O.P. whi Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/1500th review. That’s proof I have no life a milestone moment. It would have been great if I had some knock-my-socks-off-everybody-best-run-and-get-it-immediately 5 Star rave or (even better) a 1 Star flamefest. Buuuuuuuuut it’s me who tends to fail despite her best intentions so you get this. On the bright side, Like Lions was my most highly anticipated release of 2019 and it made me break the “I don’t like to read sequels” S.O.P. which are my reading habits.Okay, let’s get on with things. To say Bull Mountain blew me away would be an understatement and, as I mentioned above, as soon as I finished I was like gimme a sequel now be-atch. Although it took a while and there were not only release date changes but what appears to be a publishing house switch-a-roo as well, my wish finally came true and my family dealt with a wife/momma kinda like such . . . . . I’m not going to outright spoil things for anyone who hasn’t picked up the first one yet, but I am going to say this 100% didn’t go the direction I thought . . . or hoped might be more accurate . . . that I thought it would. (Maybe it’s because David Joy wasn’t the author haha – Panowich might not be as darksided as my mind wanted him to be.) Even the title was a bit of a bait and switch for me because you know the lioness is the boss bitch and the male??? Well . . . . . Like Lions picks up where Bull Mountain left us with the Burroughs family legacy. It took me a minute or two to get my head in the game that was actually being played rather than the one I had devised during my impatient waiting period, but once I found the rhythm this ended up being another winner from a great storyteller.Note to anyone thinking about reading this – it absolutely does not work as a standalone. Suck it up and get Bull Mountain first. Trust me, you’ll have . . . . . ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!ORIGINAL "REVIEW:"Approved for an ARC yesterday - entire family gone until 6:00 p.m. . . . . .
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  • Zoeytron
    January 1, 1970
    Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.Back to Bull Mountain in North Georgia, revisiting scars, goiters, and red Solo cups of hooch and sweet tea.  Scabby Mike is here, and Coot Viner, as is a skinhead by the name of Nails McKenna.  There is business to attend to, and some question as to who has the loudest say-so about it.  This is a follow-up to the excellent Bull Mountain, so I don't want to wade into spoiler territory for those who have not yet read that one.  Just that fami Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.Back to Bull Mountain in North Georgia, revisiting scars, goiters, and red Solo cups of hooch and sweet tea.  Scabby Mike is here, and Coot Viner, as is a skinhead by the name of Nails McKenna.  There is business to attend to, and some question as to who has the loudest say-so about it.  This is a follow-up to the excellent Bull Mountain, so I don't want to wade into spoiler territory for those who have not yet read that one.  Just that family is the only thing worth fighting for, worth dying for.  Well, unless you count money.  And drugs.
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  • James Thane
    January 1, 1970
    This is an excellent sequel to Bull Mountain, which was one of my favorite books of 2015. Again at the heart of the novel is Clayton Burroughs, the last surviving member of a notorious rural Georgia crime family, and the only member of the clan who ever tried to walk the straight and narrow.Clayton became the sheriff of the county where his family's criminal empire was located on Bull Mountain. This led the rest of the family to ostracize him, and the events that concluded Bull Mountain left him This is an excellent sequel to Bull Mountain, which was one of my favorite books of 2015. Again at the heart of the novel is Clayton Burroughs, the last surviving member of a notorious rural Georgia crime family, and the only member of the clan who ever tried to walk the straight and narrow.Clayton became the sheriff of the county where his family's criminal empire was located on Bull Mountain. This led the rest of the family to ostracize him, and the events that concluded Bull Mountain left him, in many ways, a broken man. Now he lives for his wife and his small child, and for his job as sheriff. But while Clayton would very much like to avoid any additional trouble, trouble will come looking for him. Sensing weakness in the remaining elements of the empire that Clayton's father had established, a rival gang is moving in on Bull Mountain, threatening Clayton, his family, and the peace he hoped he'd established there. After a particularly unfortunate incident, Clayton is pulled back into the life he'd hoped to escape and the bodies start falling left and right. In the end, as Clayton knows, family is everything, and in this case, the family that's most in danger is the only one that Clayton has left--his wife and his son. No matter what it takes, he'll stop at nothing to protect them.This is a dark, violent, bloody book--"Hillbilly Noir" at its best. Panowich writes beautifully and brilliantly creates both the characters and the settings of this novel. The plot moves along at a breakneck pace, and once you're halfway through it, you'd better not have anything else planned for the rest of the day, because you won't be putting this book down until you've reached the explosive climax.I was lucky enough to get a British edition of this book, which was released in 2017. It's just now coming out in an American edition and deserves a huge audience. While it certainly can be read as a stand-alone, do yourself a favor and read Bull Mountain first. It informs virtually everything that happens here and will give the the chance to read two really great books instead of one. You will thank me later.
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  • Esil
    January 1, 1970
    Yikes! That was an intense read. The first chapter had my stomach in knots — one of the tensest opening scenes I ever remember reading. And then it doesn’t really let up. Like Lions is a sequel to Bull Mountain, which I did not read. It’s set in the mountains of Georgia and features a group of people who live by a whole different code of what’s right and wrong. The book opens in the 1970s when Annette Burroughs leaves her husband and three sons in the tensest of circumstances. The story then fla Yikes! That was an intense read. The first chapter had my stomach in knots — one of the tensest opening scenes I ever remember reading. And then it doesn’t really let up. Like Lions is a sequel to Bull Mountain, which I did not read. It’s set in the mountains of Georgia and features a group of people who live by a whole different code of what’s right and wrong. The book opens in the 1970s when Annette Burroughs leaves her husband and three sons in the tensest of circumstances. The story then flashes forward to a time when only the youngest son — Clayton — is alive. Clayton is now the local sheriff and he is recovering from injuries he got while killing his older brother — Hal. Until his death, Hal was the local drug lord — a business he had taken over from his father. Clayton is now dark and broody, and having trouble keeping it together at work and with his wife and young son. Bull Mountain is now in disarray without its drug lord. And external forces are trying to take over. There’s lots of action and quite a bit of violence, which is not my usual fare, but the characters and the writing were top notch. I found myself fully engaged, head spinning and really not knowing who or what to root for. The end is pretty interesting too. I think I now need to go back and read Bull Mountain to better understand what happened between Clayton and Hal. But this was still good as a stand-alone. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    HA!......SLICK 1972 Prologue/Epilogue......VERY SLICK! We're back at Bull Mountain with Sheriff Clayton Burroughs now the only surviving family member of "deddy's" old fallen blood-thirsty clan....and he wants no part of reviving it. Still ailing from past injuries and feeling responsible for all that has gone wrong in his world....including problems with his marriage, Clayton dulls his pain with drink and visits to his family's gravesite....until threats aimed at his wife and baby son bring him HA!......SLICK 1972 Prologue/Epilogue......VERY SLICK! We're back at Bull Mountain with Sheriff Clayton Burroughs now the only surviving family member of "deddy's" old fallen blood-thirsty clan....and he wants no part of reviving it. Still ailing from past injuries and feeling responsible for all that has gone wrong in his world....including problems with his marriage, Clayton dulls his pain with drink and visits to his family's gravesite....until threats aimed at his wife and baby son bring him to his senses, and a surprising request gets him to thinking. LIKE LIONS is the gritty sequel to BULL MOUNTAIN and it all begins with an attempted robbery gone very wrong introducing some colorful and dangerous characters, i.e. Freddy the aging drag queen and one NAILS McKenna, (my favorite) and when Coot Viner and his gang of hooligans enter the picture, all kinds of crazy ass violent hell breaks loose. Fear is the name of the game here....Fear of predators trying to cash-in on a defunct territory prime for selling drugs and guns....Fear of brutality and paybacks....and Fear of not knowing who to trust. ***Arc provided by The NetGalley Team at St. Martin's Press in exchange for review***
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  • Richard
    January 1, 1970
    Yep, this book does exist. I was a little confused about whether or not that was true at first and I'm not sure what the hell is going with this book's release. It was delayed a couple of times and then out of nowhere and with little fanfare, the book showed up on small online marketplace sellers, not available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or even in libraries, without an book or an audiobook. I actually doubted whether or not the novel was actually available at all, but I saw that some rev Yep, this book does exist. I was a little confused about whether or not that was true at first and I'm not sure what the hell is going with this book's release. It was delayed a couple of times and then out of nowhere and with little fanfare, the book showed up on small online marketplace sellers, not available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or even in libraries, without an book or an audiobook. I actually doubted whether or not the novel was actually available at all, but I saw that some reviews were out there. And lo and behold, I ordered it and got an actual, real-life copy! "This mountain was a circle of tragedy that never stopped rolling." I'd been meaning to read this for a while as I LOVED Panowich's first novel, Bull Mountain , and I couldn't wait to read the sequel. It takes place a year after the events in the first novel and features Clayton Burroughs struggling to protect his family and his land in the midst of the power vacuum created by the events of the first novel.This deserves a proper release soon. Once again, Panowich shows real skill with pacing, reveals, and reversals, making for an entertaining, quick-read novel that's never boring. The story itself isn't as riveting and absorbing as Bull Mountain's, and not as well structured; feeling slightly rushed, but dammit, Panowich really knows how to suck you in! I really enjoyed this one and while the stunner of an ending may seem gimmicky to some, but not only does it work perfectly as a whole with Bull Mountain, but I thought it was a very fitting cherry-on-top to a narrative about legacy, consequences, and the cyclical, never-ending nature of violence.
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  • Brian Panowich
    January 1, 1970
    I think this book is pretty damn great. But I’m a bit bias.
  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Like dark, avenging angels seeking their Shakespearean pound of flesh.....Brian Panowich is on a purposeful quest to cover life's road with front door and back door grit. The telling involves people of all calibres existing in their own reality. Life on Bull Mountain has been long in coming. Generation after generation spews its devious and unrelenting nature into the next. It's a way of life that stares long and hard through the eyes of those so enmeshed in its tenacles as well as those who wis Like dark, avenging angels seeking their Shakespearean pound of flesh.....Brian Panowich is on a purposeful quest to cover life's road with front door and back door grit. The telling involves people of all calibres existing in their own reality. Life on Bull Mountain has been long in coming. Generation after generation spews its devious and unrelenting nature into the next. It's a way of life that stares long and hard through the eyes of those so enmeshed in its tenacles as well as those who wish desperately to swim to the surface.I sat with Like Lions for some time after reading it. Although I've not read the original introduction of Panowich's first offering, Bull Mountain, I must say that I was yanked into this one like a mother's hand grabbing up her only child. And Panowich implements that mother's perspective through the first pages of this novel set in 1972. Annette Burroughs is almost robotic as she tests the wooden floorboards in the cabin as she makes her way to the door in the middle of the night. She clutches her baby to her chest counting the mere minutes to the final breakaway from her husband's clutches. But her husband Gareth stirs......Fast forward to the present and we find that the game has changed dramatically for the Burroughs clan. Gareth and his sons once controlled operations on the mountain with an iron fist. The book, Bull Mountain, sets the stage for the final takedown. The north Georgia woods is now controlled by multiple factions all seeking their piece of the meth operations. The long barrel of a Mossberg has quite the voice, but it all comes with a high price.....the cruel elimination of family members and the heavy boots stompin' down on their worker bees.Out of the Burroughs clan comes Clayton Burroughs, unexpected sheriff and passionate husband of Kate. There's newborn, Eben, raising the stakes even higher. But Clayton faces his own internal demons in the aftermath of the ruination of his family and his own role within it. Clayton's physical wounds are now being tapped down thanks to daily bouts of booze and poppin' pain pills. How can you rise from the pits of hell still chained to the past?Brian Panowich relies heavily on his chosen characters who deliver this storyline with the stain of blood and guts reality. The deeper the involvement, the higher the price to pay. And Clayton knows that front and center. His wife, Kate, rises to the occasion and it is a daunting feat in itself. Strong women always get my attention hands down. And the Epilogue will leave you breathless.Wherever the next chapter may take us, it is in the hands of the highly talented Brian Panowich. I will be reaching back for the first book, Bull Mountain with new eyes, savoring it for the seeds that started the story on this intricate knoll set down in the Georgia woods. I encourage you to do the same......
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  • Ɗẳɳ 2.☊
    January 1, 1970
    Bull Mountain was one of my favorite reads of 2015—or at least that’s what I was forced to tell folks to avoid Shelby’s wrath since she was kind enough to send me an advanced reader’s copy and knew where I lived. 😰 That spring the ARC made an amazing journey across the Lower 48, starting life in the hands of Karen in NYC, then on to Shelby in the deep South, and over to me in Indian Territory, and finally up north to Becky. But even more amazing than its cross country trek was that all four of u Bull Mountain was one of my favorite reads of 2015—or at least that’s what I was forced to tell folks to avoid Shelby’s wrath since she was kind enough to send me an advanced reader’s copy and knew where I lived.¹ 😰 That spring the ARC made an amazing journey across the Lower 48, starting life in the hands of Karen in NYC, then on to Shelby in the deep South, and over to me in Indian Territory, and finally up north to Becky. But even more amazing than its cross country trek was that all four of us slapped a five-star rating on it, which was some sort of Goodread’s miracle. Even so, it wasn’t a flawless story, few are, but it was pretty darn impressive for a debut novel. And one of its more satisfying aspects was that all the loose plot threads were neatly tied off by the end of the tale, so imagine my surprise to learn that a sequel was in the works. The only reasonable response to such unexpectedly welcome news was to get the gang back together and set up a buddy read. Only this time everyone could find their own damn copy!Like Lions picks up the narrative thread a year after the dust has settled from book one. The stylings are similar to the first book with a rotating point of view, occasional glimpses into the past, and the main protagonist of Sheriff Clayton, the black sheep of the Burroughs clan. A clan that’s been king of the mountain for generations, with a family business that’s kept up with the times, seamlessly transitioning from moonshine to marijuana to crystal blue persuasion. But the family suffered some major body blows in the last story that weakened its standing atop the Mountain. And now, a rival gang is looking to exploit those vulnerabilities and weasel its way into their territory—nature abhors a vacuum.Soon enough Clayton finds himself at a crossroads, in a position to steer the family’s fortunes. “His whole life he’d been pulled in two directions. Would he be the man at the top of the mountain or the one crushed underneath it?” The choice seems clear, but the sheriff’s moral compass has been wavering lately due to extenuating circumstances—at times, he barely resembles the man we met in the first book—so it’s anyone guess which way he’s leaning. But with his wife and child caught in the crosshairs it time to shit or get off the pot! So, for me, Like Lions was mostly worth the wait. Much like its predecessor I was blindsided by a killer plot twist that took the story to another level and earned it an extra star. The clear, straightforward prose worked well for the action-driven plot. My only real complaint is something that seems to be a recurring theme with a few of these Grit Lit stories: there wasn’t much of a story arc. The novel opened with a robbery gone pear-shaped and the rest of what followed was the fallout from that event. Sure, there was some welcome character development—Kate continued her transformation into a badass, a few secondary characters were nicely rounded out, while Clayton suffered through a crisis of conscience and struggled to find his soul—and the sheer number of explosive events that occurred within this slim novel was pretty impressive. But the entire story encompassed maybe a week’s worth of time. And, I can’t speak for my fellow buddy readers, but, after the long four-year wait, I was hoping to spend a little more time with the family.-----------------------------------------------1 Look no further than my Origin review if you believe being gifted a copy would, in any way, influence my rating.
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  • Monika Sadowski
    January 1, 1970
    Glass of whisky in one hand and Like Lions in the other. Great story about bad families, gangs, drugs and paybacks. Characters are deep and serious, no messing around. I haven’t read the Bull Mountain but after meeting Sheriff Clayton Burroughs and his wife Kate I can’t wait to put my hands on it. I enjoyed every page of this very well written book.Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
    January 1, 1970
    This book was phenomenal and it had so many surprising moments that were action packed and mind blowing . We get multiple points of view but it was very easy to follow and they were all necessary. The depth of the characters, the theme of community and taking sides was awesome. You really didn't know who to trust and that made the book all the more exciting. This book had everything, and I loved how it all ended, it was quite shocking. The prose, the authenticity, the unstoppable conflict on eve This book was phenomenal and it had so many surprising moments that were action packed and mind blowing . We get multiple points of view but it was very easy to follow and they were all necessary. The depth of the characters, the theme of community and taking sides was awesome. You really didn't know who to trust and that made the book all the more exciting. This book had everything, and I loved how it all ended, it was quite shocking. The prose, the authenticity, the unstoppable conflict on every page, rendered it impossible to put down. I am a fan of dark crime stories and Like Lions ticked every single box for an amazing novel. I was swept alongside the rocky history of the Burroughs and held on breathless until the last page. Brian Panowich can write and I will be anxiously waiting for another novel from him (Here's hoping there is a book III). I recommend this book to everyone.Thank you NetGalley, St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books and Brian Panowich for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.All my reviews can be found on my blog: https://shelleyann01.blogspot.com/
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    A couple of years ago, my buddy Dan 2.0 sent me an ARC of Bull Mountain to read, and I freaking loved it. I'm not much of a hick-lit reader (or at least I wasn't) but that book hooked me right quick and kept me hooked. So, obviously, when the sequel came about, I had to read it. And so I have. All of the things that I loved about Bull Mountain were here again in Like Lions. The quality of the writing is so great. The characters are real and interesting and compelling. I want to know what's going A couple of years ago, my buddy Dan 2.0 sent me an ARC of Bull Mountain to read, and I freaking loved it. I'm not much of a hick-lit reader (or at least I wasn't) but that book hooked me right quick and kept me hooked. So, obviously, when the sequel came about, I had to read it. And so I have. All of the things that I loved about Bull Mountain were here again in Like Lions. The quality of the writing is so great. The characters are real and interesting and compelling. I want to know what's going to happen to them. I want to know who they are and why they do the things they do. In Bull Mountain, I loved Clayton, the main character. He was the rogue one, the black sheep of his family because he alone wants to tread the straight and narrow path instead of following his family's path of lawlessness and brutality. He came up against them, as of course he must, and the way that things played out in the first book was... incredible. It was at times exactly what it always must be, and yet it was unpredictable and crazy at the same time. There were twists that I did NOT see coming, and the way that it shifted between past and present was Grade A fucking prime storytelling. It was a thing of beauty. Like Lions has... some of that. It was compelling, but for different reasons. The family loyalty aspect has shifted. The past and present storytelling is still there, but it's used less, more like bookends than flashbacks. Regarding plot, I would say that Bull Mountain had the better one. It was a story of family, and revenge, and survival. Like Lions didn't really have much of a plot... but I didn't much notice until after I was done with the book, if that tells you anything. I was so wrapped up in the characters and the story and what was going to happen to them, that I didn't stop to think about plotting, or lack thereof. And that, to me, is a sign of fucking excellent writing. That this book can have a gaping hole where the plot should be, and I neither notice or care, says a lot about Panowich's ability to make the plot the least important aspect of the book, and still draw the reader in and make them invested in the story. To be fair, I SHOULD drop a star from this book for the hole where the plot should be, but I'm not going to, because it doesn't matter. There's enough of one for circumstances to be put in play, and that's where the story goes... but it does make me wonder what the REAL plan (plot) was supposed to be if it didn't go sideways like it did. Honestly, at this point, I think that Panowich could publish his grocery list and I'd be down to read it. I don't know if he'll continue this family's story, or if this is going to stick at being a duology, but whatever he writes next, I'll be snatching it up.
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  • Eric
    January 1, 1970
    Like Lions by Brian Panowich picks up not too long after the ending of Bull Moutain. The novel follows Clayton Burroughs, a county sheriff and member of the Burroughs clan of Bull Mountain. Clayton is still trying to police the county without falling into the criminal-generational ruts of his family and is not recovering well from being shot by a rogue Federal agent in the first book. He has dipped back into the booze while wallowing in self-pity and shame, barely trying to hold on the best he c Like Lions by Brian Panowich picks up not too long after the ending of Bull Moutain. The novel follows Clayton Burroughs, a county sheriff and member of the Burroughs clan of Bull Mountain. Clayton is still trying to police the county without falling into the criminal-generational ruts of his family and is not recovering well from being shot by a rogue Federal agent in the first book. He has dipped back into the booze while wallowing in self-pity and shame, barely trying to hold on the best he can and all the while, people around him still cause him to commits acts he swears he would never do. Characters from the first novel return and Panowich introduces new characters just as violent as Clayton's brother's and his brother's helpers. To reveal more would result in spoilers, one of which this reader certainly did not anticipate. While the sparsely, lush writing found in the first novel is not as often in this one, the novel is still an enjoyable and first-rate installment in this series. Highly recommend to those that enjoy Southern writing of other writers like Ace Atkins, Tom Franklin, and Daniel Woodrell.
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  • LenaRibka
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! Even better than the first book. And THIS ENDING! (again) I bet, you won't see it coming!An awesome source material for a gripping thriller movie.But very brutal, just letting you know.
  • Francesca Maccani
    January 1, 1970
    Secondo volume della trilogia su Bull Mountain.Avevo adorato il primo. E ho sempre detto che non ha avuto il grande successo che meritava.Questo secondo a mio parere è pure meglio.Più asciutto e ansiogeno. Assolutamente circolare.Crudo al punto giusto, avvincente e intrigante.L'ho davvero divorato.Un thriller dal sapore western, senza esclusione di colpi.Figure femminili al top. Una meglio dell'altra.Kate in primis.Clayton, meno bacchettone e molto più umano, è il protagonista perfetto di questo Secondo volume della trilogia su Bull Mountain.Avevo adorato il primo. E ho sempre detto che non ha avuto il grande successo che meritava.Questo secondo a mio parere è pure meglio.Più asciutto e ansiogeno. Assolutamente circolare.Crudo al punto giusto, avvincente e intrigante.L'ho davvero divorato.Un thriller dal sapore western, senza esclusione di colpi.Figure femminili al top. Una meglio dell'altra.Kate in primis.Clayton, meno bacchettone e molto più umano, è il protagonista perfetto di questo volume.Per me 5/5!Senza alcun dubbio
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  • Alicia Sanders
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, so I stayed up til 1:30am on a school/work night finishing this book lol. Wow. Okay, let me just say this- this was a quick read. It was so easy to fly through. Just as good as Bull Mountain? Sure, but they are different. Book 1 jumps time lines and when they all line up at the end you’re like WOAH. This book is pretty much all present day. The Epilogue delivers that “Oh shit!” factor. It’s certainly a well done follow up. It does leave an opportunity for a 3rd, but I don’t think its neede Okay, so I stayed up til 1:30am on a school/work night finishing this book lol. Wow. Okay, let me just say this- this was a quick read. It was so easy to fly through. Just as good as Bull Mountain? Sure, but they are different. Book 1 jumps time lines and when they all line up at the end you’re like WOAH. This book is pretty much all present day. The Epilogue delivers that “Oh shit!” factor. It’s certainly a well done follow up. It does leave an opportunity for a 3rd, but I don’t think its needed here. 😁 Totally satisfied.
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    January 1, 1970
    To be reviewed over at Fresh Fiction!
  • BookGypsy
    January 1, 1970
    In this second book we return to Bull Mountain with Clayton Burrough a Georgia Sheriff, a new father trying his best to take care of his family and put the violent past behind him that took his two brother's lives. The criminal empire of his family. When another organization leaves dead bodies in their wake, Clayton has to make a choice and protect his family. This was a lightning fast read. Gritty and action packed. A shot of Fireball burning with every page and the end left me stunned.Dawnny-B In this second book we return to Bull Mountain with Clayton Burrough a Georgia Sheriff, a new father trying his best to take care of his family and put the violent past behind him that took his two brother's lives. The criminal empire of his family. When another organization leaves dead bodies in their wake, Clayton has to make a choice and protect his family. This was a lightning fast read. Gritty and action packed. A shot of Fireball burning with every page and the end left me stunned.Dawnny-BookGypsyNovels N Latte ReviewNovels N Latte Book ClubHudson Valley NY
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  • debra
    January 1, 1970
    This is a cozy mystery about some golf buddies traveling to the Masters in Augusta, Ga.Ha! Only kidding. This was good, but I enjoyed Bull Mountain even more. I do like the way Panowich writes, and I will def read his next, and his next
  • switterbug (Betsey)
    January 1, 1970
    They say a book for every reader and for every reader a book. Well, this book just wasn’t for me. The description of “hillbilly noir” attracted me; I was thinking about Cormac McCarthy, for one. But there was nothing noir about this book, just lots of hillbillies, rednecks, and meth heads. Noir, to me, means stark, lean, and not a lot of translating and expounding on someone’s inner thoughts or decisions. There was too much clarifying, and not enough allowing the reader to figure it out. Moreove They say a book for every reader and for every reader a book. Well, this book just wasn’t for me. The description of “hillbilly noir” attracted me; I was thinking about Cormac McCarthy, for one. But there was nothing noir about this book, just lots of hillbillies, rednecks, and meth heads. Noir, to me, means stark, lean, and not a lot of translating and expounding on someone’s inner thoughts or decisions. There was too much clarifying, and not enough allowing the reader to figure it out. Moreover, the prose was plain Jane Main Street instead of terse, taut, and pointed. I also figured out almost everything that would happen.After 80 pages, I wanted to quit. But I kept trying, anyway—in order to give a reasonable review. There are 300 pages and I made it to 180, and then read the last 40 pages and concluded that my predictions were correct. This was actually more of a short story, for all the little that actually happened. But the author trimmed no fat in telling the tale, and packed it with a lot of excess but pointless (to me) passages.If the plot wasn’t going to keep me engaged, I wanted the characters to absorb me. But not even Clayton, the Sheriff and supposed hero, lured me in. He was a boring self-pitying drunk that would drink a pint of whiskey by 8 am, and then evade his job, his wife, and his baby boy, all because he was forced to kill his vile, sociopathic brother (oh, yeah, his brother with half a heart?) to save an innocent woman—in the last book. But his guilt was ruining his life. And, he was too pathetic for me to feel much for him, even though I knew he’d likely clean up his act and save the day, or at least himself, in the end.A good villain with intriguing and complex traits will keep me actively absorbed. Again, Cormac McCarthy is a great example, as well as Jo Nesbo. But the villains in this book were one-dimensional and hackneyed. In fact, Panowich spent over 100 pages of LIKE LIONS intermittently returning to the plot, characters, and outcome of his previous book, BULL MOUNTAIN—way more than necessary. I never read BULL MOUNTAIN, but sure wouldn’t need to, as the author did too much retread of the finer or duller points, shutting down my senses for the present novel. And using violence to compensate for a tedious narrative won’t turn it into a fabulous tale, either. It was a puerile and corny novel, in my opinion. But Panowich has plenty of fans, and doesn’t need me lining up for his oeuvre.I just want to add that, if made into a cable movie, the right, intrepid director, writer, and cinematographer could turn this cornball, network movie mush into a true Netflix hillbilly noir.
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  • Ed
    January 1, 1970
    #2 in the Saga of the Burroughs family. This 2018 sequel by author Panowich to the much noted Bull Mountain (2015) does not measure up. Set in 2015 this novel of backwoods drug running and an attempt to take over the fading empire of the Burroughs clan has a dearth of likeable characters. The protagonist has not recovered from severe injury suffered in the prior novel and the story arc suffers from his disability leaving his wife as the strongest character in the novel. A prologue and epilogue s #2 in the Saga of the Burroughs family. This 2018 sequel by author Panowich to the much noted Bull Mountain (2015) does not measure up. Set in 2015 this novel of backwoods drug running and an attempt to take over the fading empire of the Burroughs clan has a dearth of likeable characters. The protagonist has not recovered from severe injury suffered in the prior novel and the story arc suffers from his disability leaving his wife as the strongest character in the novel. A prologue and epilogue set in 1972 are interesting but their link to the body of the novel is weak. Action filled but not up to its predecessor.Clayton Burroughs is sheriff of Bull Mountain and last surviving member of the brutal and blood-steeped Burroughs clan. It's been a year since a rogue government agent systematically crippled the family's criminal empire, leaving two of his brothers dead and Clayton broken and haunted by wounds that may never heal. Now Bull Mountain is vulnerable, ripe for predators wanting to re-establish the flow of dope and money through the town. And the death of a boy belonging to a rival clan brings the wolves straight to Clayton's door. The only good son born of a crooked tree, Clayton wants to bury his bloody family legacy for good. But he'll need to call on it if he wants to save his family, and his mountain, from the destruction that awaits.
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  • Darrell Grizzle
    January 1, 1970
    Bull Mountain, the modern-day classic Southern Gothic crime novel by Brian Panowich, started out with a first chapter that ended with an emotional gutpunch that left its readers reeling. The sequel, Like Lions, does the same, with an opening prologue that likewise ends with a gutpunch that sets the tone for the whole novel. It's a powerful beginning to a powerful novel. Sheriff Clayton Burroughs and his wife Kate struggle to deal with the devastating events of the first novel, and in many ways K Bull Mountain, the modern-day classic Southern Gothic crime novel by Brian Panowich, started out with a first chapter that ended with an emotional gutpunch that left its readers reeling. The sequel, Like Lions, does the same, with an opening prologue that likewise ends with a gutpunch that sets the tone for the whole novel. It's a powerful beginning to a powerful novel. Sheriff Clayton Burroughs and his wife Kate struggle to deal with the devastating events of the first novel, and in many ways Kate is the stronger of the two. Like Lions ends with a gutpunch too, a surprising revelation that ties the story together and neatly sets the stage for the next novel in the series. It's a worthy sequel to Bull Mountain, just as well-written and fast-paced, with richly-developed characters, gritty violence, and even more family secrets.
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  • Lou
    January 1, 1970
    Review:In the foothills of McFalls County,Waymore Valley.“Clayton had defined himself as a good Sheriff—a good man and husband. The only good son born of a crooked tree.”A place ruled by fear before and continues to try emerge.The tales starts with a robbery pulled off by“dumbest shit-bird this side of Bear Creek”And then…One adversary a member of the Viner clan said, “Deddy will rain fire down on this place like you ain’t never seen. You know ain’t nobody up here got the juice no more to stop u Review:In the foothills of McFalls County,Waymore Valley.“Clayton had defined himself as a good Sheriff—a good man and husband. The only good son born of a crooked tree.”A place ruled by fear before and continues to try emerge.The tales starts with a robbery pulled off by“dumbest shit-bird this side of Bear Creek”And then…One adversary a member of the Viner clan said, “Deddy will rain fire down on this place like you ain’t never seen. You know ain’t nobody up here got the juice no more to stop us.”Sounds like a while lots bad things going to converge in North Georgia.Some also want a deal to run certain commodities through the land too.“Burroughs’s time in North Georgia was over.”Will it be, we will have to see.But things will have to be kept maybe cleaner because:“McFalls County is not run by the Burroughs family anymore, but by the law.”Let’s hope the Law can protect the innocents with the war ensuing.Gripping you to the end of the escalating events, with at the helm of things, and main character of this tale, one that will not partake in leadership over that ancient Oak farm table, the war room in the Compound, yes that’s right like the one in Sons of Anarchy, this is men of Bull Mountain, Sons of Burroughs, brotherhood and kin, with blood loss and weighty things presiding over peoples consciousness.The same reasons you may love the writings of Elmore Leonard, William Faulkner, Daniel Woodrell, Chris Offutt, and Donald Ray Pollock, to name a few, you would love this work.All the desperation for preservations, trying to pave new ways, not the old ways, when fear was the currency of Kings, a mighty hard task undoing bad doings, bad legacies, the past, but never dead, all before the reader with the careful craft of a potent storyteller.Featuring:Gareth BurroughsHalford Burroughs Clayton BurroughsKate BurroughsWallace CobbScabby MikeTwyla VinerCoot VinerVanessa Viner Tate VinerJoseph VinerReview also @ More2Read
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  • Tiger
    January 1, 1970
    Very good followup to Panowich's superb debut, Bull Mountain, sees sheriff Clayton Burroughs fending off challenges to his county and family from more evil people than anyone should ever have to face. With more than a little help from his amazingly strong wife Kate, they face everything head on with often violent results as it seems there may be some hidden money.
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