Pay Dirt Road
by Allen, Samantha Jayne






Lured into the family business-a private investigation firm-by her supposed-to-be-retired grandfather, Annie McIntyre, while looking into the disappearance of waitress, finds herself identifying with the victim in increasingly, unsettling ways and must confront her own past to survive this case. 40,000 first printing.





SAMANTHA JAYNE ALLEN has an MFA in fiction from Texas State University. Her writing has been published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, The Common, and Electric Literature. Raised in small towns in Texas and California, she now lives with her husband in Atlanta. Pay Dirt Road is her debut novel.





*Starred Review* This mystery, which won the Tony Hillerman Prize for best debut novel set in the Southwest, is that rarity in private-eye fiction: a coming-of-age story. Very often, the fictional PI is older, well established, and cynical. Here, the PI, Annie McIntyre, is young (22), a recent college grad, and doesn't know what she is. Annie returns to her hardscrabble Texas town, directionless and conflicted. She divides her time between hanging out with her high-school buddies, who never left town, and waitressing at a local café that is filled with farmers and ranchers in the morning, and long-haul truckers, shift workers, and stoned teens at night. One of the waitresses at the café goes missing after a bonfire party that Annie attended. This marks Annie's awakening, since she identifies with the wild, vulnerable, missing young woman, who is eventually found strangled. Annie then gets a plot-convenient offer to join her grandfather, a former sheriff, in his detective agency. Readers will forgive this ploy as they learn, with Annie, the tricks of the investigating trade, starting with "never ask too many questions" when doing an interview. Annie grows before our eyes, and the Texas landscape, with its falling-apart houses and bedraggled bars, comes alive in this remarkable novel, reminiscent of Larry McMurtry's The Last Picture Show. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.





*Starred Review* This mystery, which won the Tony Hillerman Prize for best debut novel set in the Southwest, is that rarity in private-eye fiction: a coming-of-age story. Very often, the fictional PI is older, well established, and cynical. Here, the PI, Annie McIntyre, is young (22), a recent college grad, and doesn't know what she is. Annie returns to her hardscrabble Texas town, directionless and conflicted. She divides her time between hanging out with her high-school buddies, who never left town, and waitressing at a local café that is filled with farmers and ranchers in the morning, and long-haul truckers, shift workers, and stoned teens at night. One of the waitresses at the café goes missing after a bonfire party that Annie attended. This marks Annie's awakening, since she identifies with the wild, vulnerable, missing young woman, who is eventually found strangled. Annie then gets a plot-convenient offer to join her grandfather, a former sheriff, in his detective agency. Readers will forgive this ploy as they learn, with Annie, the tricks of the investigating trade, starting with "never ask too many questions" when doing an interview. Annie grows before our eyes, and the Texas landscape, with its falling-apart houses and bedraggled bars, comes alive in this remarkable novel, reminiscent of Larry McMurtry's The Last Picture Show. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.





A gritty, down-home exploration of murder and dysfunction in a Texas town. Upon her college graduation, Annie McIntyre returns home to Garnett, Texas, thinking about law school but with no clear path in sight. She's living with her cousin Nikki and waitressing at a diner, where she meets young mother Victoria Merritt. Attending Justin Schneider's bonfire party takes Annie right back to high school, as beer flows and a volatile combination of jocks, mean girls, and out-of-town roughnecks mix. Victoria turns up apparently bombed out of her mind; it's the last time Annie sees her alive. When Victoria's disappearance and a fatal hit-and-run roil the town, Annie, whose dysfunctional family has a long history in law enforcement, feels pulled to investigate. Mary-Pat, who runs a private investigation firm with Annie's grandfather Leroy, hires her to do office work that may lead to an internship. Annie and Nikki's many visits to bars in search of Victoria end when her body is discovered in a shallow grave on Annie's family land. The experience brings on a bout of PTSD from a traumatic experience Annie had at a fraternity party during her senior year in high school. When Fernando, a high school friend who works at the diner, is arrested, Annie gets Leroy and Mary-Pat to investigate for his lawyer. A gas company that sought to lease Victoria's land gives her husband a financial motive for her murder; the environmental problems the company is hiding give it a powerful motive as well. A dark picture of hardscrabble Texas juiced by the heroine's angst makes for a great debut. Here's hoping for a follow-up. Copyright Kirkus 2022 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






Terms of Use   ©Copyright 2022 Follett School Solutions