Desperation Road by Michael Farris Smith

Real Readers: Desperation Road by Michael Farris Smith

Article published on February 23, 2017.

For eleven years the clock has been ticking for Russell Gaines as he sat in Parchman penitentiary in the Mississippi Delta. His time now up, and believing his debt paid, he returns home only to discover that revenge lives and breathes all around.

On the day of his release, a woman named Maben and her young daughter trudge along the side of the interstate under the punishing summer sun. Desperate and exhausted, the pair spend their last dollar on a motel room for the night, a night that ends with Maben running through the darkness holding a pistol, and a dead deputy sprawled across the road in the glow of his own headlights.

With dawn, destinies collide, and Russell is forced to decide whose life he will save his own or that of the woman and child?


‘I particularly liked the character of Maben. Smith manages to create a sense of vulnerability while still portraying her as a strong woman’
Mary Moore

‘This is a brilliant and incredibly moving novel.’
Cathy Boyle

‘Michael Farris Smith’s compelling, evocative prose is a joy to read; it is lyrical and unhurried and his ‘show, don’t tell’ style allows the reader to put flesh on the bones of his characters.’
Linda Hepworth

‘It has been one of the books I’ve read lately that will stay with me for a long time after the last page has been read.’
Patricia Thompson

‘It is a must-read book even if it is not a genre you usually read.’
Carol Quaile

‘The main characters are complex and the issues raised, about corruption and innocence, make you think.’
Sam Szanto


Find out what our Real Readers had to say about Desperation Road by Michael Farris Smith in full by downloading the PDF here.



Desperation Road by Michael Farris Smith, published on 23 February, 2017 by No Exit Press, in hardback


SECOND OPINION: The Black Friar by S.G. Maclean


Ragdoll by Daniel Cole

You may also like