The Song of the Midnight Rider
In the 1990’s an urban legend was born of a drug running team that worked the roads from Washington, DC to the Florida Everglades. A team of three ran silently along the eastern seaboard using night vision goggles,and fast cars escaping capture by driving without lights on back roads. They were referred to in some circles as the midnight riders.
This novel tells the story of one of those drivers, Jordan Samson a man whose talents with a racecar know no bounds and whose penchant for booze and drugs catch up with him one day. Severely in debt and faced with the death of the only father he ever knew he’s forced into an arrangement with the Hungarian mafia. He joins a team as the keystone driver, in a group of three that includes a mysterious Latina who goes by OU812 and a cocksure, erratic driver who rides behind Samson that goes by TTBoy.
The novel moves muscularly through Samson’s time moving their product up and down the east coast, giving a voice to Drago, the mafia’s ring leader. Samson goes to great pains reflecting back sharing his entire life’s story. To tell the story of only the mafia, of only the action and drugs was not enough for this author as he reaches into the deep pit of the American dream and asks what happens when our dreams don’t come true?
The novel weaves together Jordan Samson's life from his troubled childhood as the son of alcoholic parents, to the rural dirt track racecar setting of Tennessee. We watch the hopes of a young boy develop in front of his stepfather, twisting down the track or explode in front of his mother, as he stands near Cape Canaveral and witnesses Crysta McAullife's last tragic flight. We sit next to him in this confessional that ties itself to adrenaline influences of Palahniuk but at the same time takes great pains to work slowly and hold moments of beauty similar to Stegner.
All of this is weaved with great care and compassion to a thrilling ending as we find out whether Samson and the woman he falls in love with will escape from Drago to discover their own dreams.
by Alexis Enrico Santí
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Cover design by Gabriel Antonio Ros