Black Mule Press (2021)
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (01/2022)
Past and present collide in this history of Colorado’s mining industry. Led by Jack Bannister, this series kick-off promises to offer a rich, action packed, and thrilling ride. Presenting a rag-tag team of professionals, Jack Bannister seeks to uncover the mysteries of the drifts in this aptly named first novel, “The Drift.”
As a child, I was obsessed with rocks. Rocks at museums, in the yard, sold at stores, it didn’t matter, I loved them all. I also love Colorado, the skiing, hiking, being outdoors, the views, there is so much to enjoy in Colorado. “The Drift” seamlessly combines these two adorations into a treasure hunting, mine exploring, water polluting, thrilling and suspenseful read.
The acknowledgements pages of “The Drift” indicates this is the author’s first novel. This surprised me, as the book read like that of a seasoned writer. This story’s lead, Jack Bannister, is the perfect hero to carry a series of books. Bannister offers action, a rag-tag team at his disposal, and a countryside of rock, mystery, and bad guys waiting to be taken down.
“The Drift” captivates readers as it toggles between two storylines. Present day, Jack Bannister seeks to uncover a case of polluted water in Cripple Creek, CO. Given the miles and miles of unexplored drifts between the mines, this threatens to be an impossible task. Putting together a team of locals, experts, and his proven trusted associates, Jack sets out to solve the case.
The second timeline is woven against Jack’s love interest who curates the local museum. After receiving a trunk of letters full of correspondence from a Russian immigrant settling in Cripple Creek, Jack’s experience in Russian is sought to translate the history. These letters transport readers back to the 1800s during the gold rush in Cripple Creek as a young husband and father seeks a new life for his family. Both timelines are gripping as readers are left at the edge of their seats awaiting the next series of events.
Ultimately, these stories collide in unimaginable ways, taking the reader on a thrilling ride through Colorado’s mining enterprises, with enjoyable banter along the way. Despite having no prior experience in mining, and just an elementary love for rocks, “The Drift” fascinated me with the history and richness of the land, and the terror, commitment, and dedication of the mining business.