rumrunnersOver the past weekend I was finally able to get through Rumrunners by Eric Beetner.

It wasn’t that I didn’t dig the story or anything like that…I’ve been pushing to finish a 1930’s novella of my own and DGP released their first magazine of which I felt that I had to flog a little for my contribution.

Beetner’s Rumrunners has been popping up on the radar an awful lot lately and I decided to see what this one was about. Fuck…the story didn’t disappoint.

I figured that with a title like ‘Rumrunners’ it would cover some sort of moonshiners making a living somehow. I was partially right and the Hatfield’s & McCoy’s sort of come into play here also…except in this one, it’s the McGraw’s & Stanley’s.

The story starts out with Webb McGraw taking a job delivering a load of pharmaceuticals for use in making methamphetamine. The rig, the load and Webb come up missing. Representatives of the Stanley family come calling at Webb’s boy’s—Tucker’s—house looking for his old man.

Now Tucker has known all along what his father and grandfather have done for a living and has so far chosen not to partake in the family business.

It isn’t long before Webb’s dad and Tucker’s grandad—Calvin—is involved in looking for his son and taking his grandson Tucker along on some wild ass rides through the upper Midwest.
All along the old man is telling his grandson that he’s a McGraw man and born with high octane in his veins. Calvin McGraw is just quirky enough to be any of our grandad’s and more than likable in the story.

Over time Tucker starts to feel it himself and grows somewhat fond of the hotrod cars their lifting to make their runs as they work off the money that the family owes the Stanley’s for the loss of the load.

As the grandfather and grandson start to close in on the killers a fourth generation of McGraw men comes into play with the entrance of Tucker’s teenaged son Milo. Who is a natural behind the wheel by the way?

In this story—a product of 280 Steps—you get kicked in the face a couple of times and left for dead, but the story is well worth the price of admission.

I’ve never been to the state of Iowa, but now feel that I could find my way around in the dark if I had to, although I’d probably never get to drive the hotrod cars that litter the pages?


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