Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
No one knows this better than James (Jimmy) Cain, heir to the family business, and his father’s pride and joy. With his limitless resources and a family that is always there for him, his life could not be more perfect. But that changes when he meets Benjamin Rei.
A determined and intelligent man, Benjamin is a junior acquisitions officers eager to close his first major purchase. His company has set Daddy Cains’ between its crosshairs and will stop at nothing to get it. Although Benjamin has a simple enough task, people and forces outside of his control will test the limits of just how far he is willing to go to make it to the top.
First of all, I’m well-versed in Southern small town living, having parents who both grew up in small southern towns and scads of relatives (whole States worth) who never left and send invitations to family reunions regularly. So I always look forward to books that have that theme or location going for them. Calloway certainly seems to fit the bill.
However, don’t go looking for this to be a romance, as it’s not really. More like a family drama, southern style. In Calloway, author Thad J. lays down his foundation of town history, complicated intertwined relationships going back decades (or further), current explosive family dynamics, and the power struggle going on for control of the world-famous Daddy Cains’ Foods Company. If that sounds like a lot of exposition, it is. Calloway is crammed full, so much at times you might just need a notepad to keep all the players straight.
It helps that the dialog is lively, the characters interesting… like James (Jimmy) Cain who is both constant sexdog and crafty businessman, ditto his father. However, I found Benjamin less than charming. I suspect I’m supposed to like him and connect more with him as an outsider, however, given my background, I saw him more as an interloper and his acts self serving or worse. No matter where I was in the story, my vision of Ben never really changed, that includes the ending.
There are many twists and turns here, some really neat ones, some you see coming. And the end is, depending upon how you look at it either a nonexistent or a total cliffhanger, which is my way of saying you have no idea of how it ends. Not my favorite here or elsewhere and it brought the rating down.
If you’re a fan of southern literature, snappy dialog and surprise twists, Calloway might be the book for you. Just don’t way I didn’t warn you about the ending.
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow. I like the cover. BBQ contests and pop. Very appealing.