Those of us that wrestle with inner demons on a regular basis, know a simple truth. When you find that method or tool that helps you fight those demons, you unleash your capabilities to put out your most amazing material. Jason Beem’s new novel, Southbound is flat, scary good. It is a testament to the demons he fights on a daily basis.
Ryan, the main character, is believable in every aspect. His love of horses and racing is only overshadowed by what those loves wakes in him. His flaws, and there are many, are starkly presented in all their ugliness, but with great understanding gifted to the reader about what he’s thinking and how he justifies his actions to himself. This character is presented cleanly and powerfully, with no safety net.
Gambling addiction casts a despairing shadow over Ryan and this is painted for the reader with absolutely no decoration. The darkness is always there, always waiting, and the reader will know that better than Ryan does. You know what’s going to happen as its inevitable, but you can’t help but root for Ryan on his highway to personal destruction.
Putting your money down on this book is no gamble at all. I make odds at least 100-1 that you’ll love it. Jason Beem has demons like we all do, and he’s found writing an effective tool to carry on the fight. He’s also created a powerful commentary on the dangers of gambling. I look forward to his next novel.