Federal Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) Marshal Jack Taggart has set out on assignment to avenge the ruthless killing of a trusted colleague. Following the murdered agent's trail, Taggart travels through the tiny hamlets that dot the hills of Appalachia to expose the people responsible for dumping hazardous waste-lethal chemical time bombs such as dTCE, cyanide and benzene-into abandoned mine shafts that most residents would rather forget. But some of the townspeople are getting sick, and whoever is behind the illegal dumping is protected by the silence of a town living in fear. The citizens close their eyes and shut their mouths while the quietly sanctioned industrial poisoning turns the lands surrounding their homes into a valley of death.
Working undercover as a carpenter through a local relief mission, Taggart slowly intermingles with these backwoods communities. Fixing stairs and roofs for the poor, distrustful townsfolk, he eventually becomes personally committed to the locals whose lives are endangered by the tainted terrain. While secretly searching for the shuttered coal mines, Taggart centers his investigation around mercenary mining tycoon Orin Hanner, a local success story tied to the mines being used as illegal dump sites deep in the Bluegrass hills.
During his inquiry, Taggart also meets and romances Sarah Kellogg, a local outcast with a checkered past whose murdered father once worked as a miner for Hanner. Sarah shares her lonely existence with her brother, Earl, and the Kellogg family secrets that are as potent and deadly as the toxic burning that has been quietly raging for years.
Now, Jack Taggart struggles to avenge his colleague's death and to prevent an irrevocable ecological catastrophe that will turn this idyllic land into an uninhabitable wasteland for generations to come.blog comments powered by Disqus
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