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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
The Outliers by Jack Clemons is a historical fiction novel set in the small town of Lewes, Delaware, at the dawn of the 20th century. Sonny Sockum is a Nanticoke teenager working odd jobs for Miss Lil, a bordello madame. However, his humdrum life turns upside down when a Deputy US Marshal comes barging into Lewes, tracking an outlaw involved in multiple robberies. When he gets wind that his brother Daniel is involved in a potential high-stakes criminal operation, Sonny decides to get Daniel out of the affair. But he only manages to dig himself deeper into the hole. Meanwhile, his friendship with the daughter of the town banker, Hannah, creates quite a scandal, causing her abusive and violent father to treat Sonny as his mortal enemy.
Author Jack Clemons seamlessly captures the atmosphere of a small town in America at the beginning of the 20th century. The Outliers is a laidback western crime drama novel that enthralls you from start to finish. The characters are well-realized and distinct in a way that each character pops out of the page. Sonny, Daniel, Marshal, and all the inhabitants of Miss Lil's establishment are vivid and colorful, making them compelling to read. I particularly enjoyed the dynamic between Sonny, Jimmy, and the Marshal. The story is written in a first-person POV style, and the events unfold before you through Sonny's eyes. The plot moves quickly, and the dialogue is perfectly suited to the time. I had a wonderful time reading The Outliers. I highly recommend it.