Thursday, May 23, 2019

Bonnie and Clyde: Radioactive ~ Lone Star Book Blog Tours Review Blitz & Giveaway!

Bonnie and Clyde #3
Genre: Historical / Alternative History / Romance 
Publisher:  Pumpjack Press on Facebook
Date of Publication: March 23, 2019
Number of Pages: 332

Scroll down for the giveaway!

Bonnie and Clyde: Defending the working class from a river of greed.
It’s January 1945, the height of World War Two. As the bloody conflict drags on, America has undertaken a massive top-secret effort to unleash the power of the atom and develop the first nuclear bomb. A network of Nazi and Soviet spies is determined to steal the technology, or failing that, sabotage the project. 

But first, they have to get past Bonnie and Clyde.

In a heart-pounding adventure spanning the windswept landscapes of eastern Washington to an isolated internment camp in the California mountains, Bonnie and Clyde face deception at every turn.

Can the former outlaws put aside their desire for revenge long enough to help end the war?

As in Resurrection Road and Dam Nation, the story cuts back and forth between 1984 where Royce, a washed-up investigative reporter, teams up with the now-elderly Bonnie Parker to hunt down the truth about their past, and the 1940s undercover exploits of the young Bonnie and Clyde.

And in Radioactive, Royce and Bonnie finally discover the devastating truth: Who Sal — the brains behind forcing Bonnie and Clyde into covert service defending the working class all those years ago — really was.

HALL WAYS REVIEW: From the beginning of the Bonnie and Clyde series, the hook for me has been “what if”? What if the notorious outlaws hadn’t died in a rain of bullets? What if they were whisked away and forced to use their unique skills to work for the US government, fighting for the good of the working class? And of course, the question persists about whether people who do so much bad can be redeemed.

Through the first two books in the series, Resurrection Road and Dam Nation, readers are taken into the speculative world of Bonnie and Clyde as government agents righting wrongs and saving the day. Readers, as well as Bonnie and Clyde, don’t know for whom, exactly, the couple is working, and that’s just one of the mysteries to be solved in book three, Radioactive.

“Trust is for fools and corpses.”

Radioactive resumes the story of Bonnie and Clyde (Brenda and Clarence Prentiss) ten years after the conclusion of Dam Nation. The couple is on assignment keeping watch and tracking the bad guys and gals – American, Russian, and German – who are attempting to interfere with the United States’s creation of the atomic bomb via the Manhattan Project.  As Bonnie and Clyde carefully narrow their field of suspects of who may be feeding secrets to the enemy, things only get more complicated, and it seems all characters have secrets and subplots of their own. Radioactive unfolds in alternating time periods, one in the '40s and the other in the '80s, both steaming ahead to different, satisfying climaxes and resolutions. Hays and McFall write a complex story, but they masterfully weave together a plethora of plot points to deliver a gangbuster tale.

“Stealing is one thing, but don’t get handsy
in the house of the Lord.”

One of the many facets that has endeared me to these books is the complicated personalities of Bonnie and Clyde. In Radioactive, the juxtaposition of the two sides of the main characters is further explored. I find it interesting to see where they draw the line for their behaviors. They are criminals at heart, but their hearts grow as they are exposed to a bigger world of greed and corruption than even they enjoyed in their outlaw heydays. There is a dichotomy in each of them; they show kindness and benevolence, have a strong sense of right and wrong, and demonstrate an intense patriotism. However, they aren’t above cheating and stealing and hurting their fellow man – or woman – if it doesn’t do much harm. I emphasize woman because the couple is all about equality in all things regardless of race, sex, or circumstance. (Oh except for the dirty communists. Rotten, all.)

Speaking of equality, it is Bonnie who is the brains of the duo, and her sharp brain and wit is used as a vehicle for some pretty serious social commentary ranging from racial inequality to gay rights to the 1%. Clyde is no dummy, but it is through Bonnie’s explanations to him that readers get both thinly veiled and blatant digs on our current administration and state of the world.  Clyde has some insightful observations himself, and the result is some short but sweet zingers that create levity when situations are tense or dismal. 

“You two go at it like river otters in heat.”

The couple is fiercely protective of and attracted to each other, and their sexual chemistry remains a focus in Radioactive, as in the other books. Their interludes provide another source of levity and distraction from the heavier themes. It borders on risqué, but the details of their escapades aren’t shared on the page. The couple’s ability to compartmentalize their lives and go from shoot-ups, hold-ups, or dire world situations to rolling in the sheets is impressive.

This was the first uncorrected proof I have read in the series but based on the final copies of the other two books, I feel confident that the final version will be finely proofread and cleanly edited. I will find out though; I intend to purchase my own final, print copy. This series is real eye-candy, outside and in. Imaginative, thought provoking, and just plain fun to read, Hays and McFall’s Bonnie and Clyde series is a must-read. I highly recommend it (and recommend it be read in sequence for maximum enjoyment). NOTE: the authors have indicated this is the last in the series, but the book ends in a way that leaves it open for more installments. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. 

Thank you to the authors and Lone Star Book Blog Tours for providing me a print ARC in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give. 

Clark and Kathleen wrote their first book together in 1999 as a test for marriage. They passed. 

Radioactive is their seventh co-authored book. 

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Kathleen: Goodreads ║ Amazon  

GRAND PRIZE: Signed copies of the full Bonnie and Clyde series
TWO WINNERS: Choice of print or eBook copy of Radioactive
May 23-June 1, 2019
(U.S. Only)

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