Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Book Review: 'Colorado Courage' by J.J. Williams

Colorado author JJ (Jim) Williams practiced Family Medicine in the Rocky Mountains for forty two years before retiring to honor his passion for writing novels that about complicated human interactions and strong courage in ordinary people – ideas he gathered form his time as a physician, appreciating the strong independent nature and inner strength of mountain people.

Much of the obvious strength of the writing debut of this physician scribe is evident in the very brief Prologue where (some words edited..!) he sets the tone of this fine book. ‘“Matt, what is going on in this town? They were trying to kill me. Two dirt bags were using me for target practice.” “Calm down! Calm down and tell me what happened,” Matt replied trying to maintain some tranquility. “I have only been in town three months and people are shooting at me. You’re the mayor what the ….?” Joe said angrily. He was slowly regaining some control of his breathing. Matt replied quietly, “When did this happen? Where were you?” Joe took a deep breath and waited until his voice wouldn’t crack. “I was riding my mountain bike up on the mesa when I got lost in the rain storm. I cut down through a meadow and there was a horrible smell. Then two guys came out of a trailer, saw me, and opened up firing their pistols at me. I think it was a drug operation.”

We are introduced to the title character of the series Dr. Joe Fox – ‘Joe’s mouth was dry and his heart was pounding as he stared at the old battered sign: INDIAN SPRINGS pop. 6,015. He didn’t know if he was crazy or just excited. He had just finished his Family Medicine training in Denver and was committed to spend two years practicing in a medically underserved area. Joe had spent all his free time in the past six months traveling to different small towns in Colorado and interviewing with each town’s selection committee. It was usually three or four concerned citizens who tried to sell him on the advantages and beauties of living in a small rural community. They were all so open and passionate about their towns that it was tough knowing that he could only choose one. After much soul searching, Joe had settled on Indian Springs and he was now driving slowly into his new hometown.’

And as the story progresses we discover just how major a drug operation Joe discovered. In an interesting and very viable fashion Jim makes his main character Joe very much like himself. The synopsis shows that well – ‘Dr. Joe Fox opens his Family Practice in an idyllic mountain town called Indian Springs, Colorado. He quickly learns that there are serious problems anywhere that people live. He stumbles on a meth lab in the mountains and starts events cascading to end in a war between the nasty Colombian drug dealers and the independent townspeople. This action thriller shows the courage of ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances.’

This may be the initial novel by JJ Williams but it most assuredly won’t be his last as his series has already progressed to Book 3. Welcome to a new very fine writer! Grady Harp, April 18
This book is free to borrow from Kindle Unlimited.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.