Jamie Zakian’s Ashby Holler, available at Amazon, features the intrigues and political machinations of a transport company that is a front for a criminal enterprise. In more than one sense, Ashby Holler’s a lot like Game of Thrones transplanted to an American subculture. It seems at times as subtle, sex-filled and brutal.
The equivalents of earning of stripes, gang-hazing, and rising up through the mob are here, just tweaked with a wonderful originality that has evaded this reviewer in the past. I have yet to see Sons of Anarchy, for instance, and if there are similar ideas in other entertainments, they’ve passed me by.
Sasha Ashby is one of the younger members of this family-owned business, keen to become Sergeant-at-Arms. If she’s to enforce order within this group, however, she has to overcome prejudice against those who know she got a severe facial beating a few years previously from one of the other employees/gang members.
This bunch parties like the Irish, with drunken scraps playing side-show to main-character sexual interactions during birthday celebrations or other events. Characters end up in bed together after sidestepping such brawls on the way to the bedroom. Sasha has to contend with her own bisexuality which will not be tolerated if made public knowledge. Alongside Sasha’s sapphic fun, there’s a love triangle involving brothers. Relationship status? It’s complicated.
|Adorable quote: Audrey Hepburn meets some stabby madwoman!|
All the while, agendas are being woven into a delicately-plotted narrative that involves trucking, shipments and cabin conversation that explores the often-changing dynamics of a rich cast of characters.
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