A December night in coastal Northern California: Dr. Carroll Monks prepares to settle in for the evening in front of the wood stove with a glass of Irish whiskey. There is a knock at the door; a young woman, a stranger, stands on the threshold. It seems that she has had a flat tire, and Monks offers his limited mechanical assistance. It is an offer he will come to regret scant minutes later he will be abducted by a band of methamphetamine-fueled terrorists, one of whom, straining all belief, is Monks' estranged son. Monks is taken to a remote paramilitary camp, where the reason for his kidnapping becomes immediately clear: the son of the psychotic leader is deathly ill. Yet hospital treatment is expressly forbidden, and without the lifesaving equipment of an emergency room, the child has little chance of survival. Monks stages a slick escape, spiriting the child away under cover of a snowstorm, never imagining the retribution that will be visited upon him, his town and his family. Revolution No. 9 is the fourth installment in the Carroll Monks series by Montana author Neil McMahon. Eerily recalling the Beatles' lyrical connection to the Manson family a generation before, the book takes a harsh look at the divisive realities of contemporary America: the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots, the erosion of the middle class, the unequal dispensing of justice. (The recipe for revolution: take three scoops of social inequity, stir in one charismatic wacko, let mixture ferment before bringing to a boil.)

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