Cover Image: It Dies with You

It Dies with You

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Member Reviews

"When it came to stuff outside of guns and cars and his membership dues to the Boars Club, he was tighter than two coats of paint." 

I love crime novels, especially the classics, and this line from Scott Blackburn's debut, It Dies With You, felt like it was lifted from an old Jim Thompson or Mickey Spillane pulp. This is not a twisty thriller like so many of today's books. it's a character-driven crime story about a boxer in turmoil who inherits his murdered father's salvage business and rental properties in his North Carolina hometown. Along the way he finds himself uncovering clues and relying on an unlikely pair of allies with their own agendas to help him get to the truth.

Highly recommended if you enjoy a goods southern mystery/crime novel.
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Hudson’s relationship with his father has been strained for years, so he’s surprised when he inherits a salvage yard after his dad is murdered. During the murder investigation, the police find a cache of guns hidden at the salvage yard. Is this the reason Hudson’s dad was killed? Hudson decides to run the salvage yard with the help Charlie, the cranky old man who worked for his dad. They soon discover a body inside a crushed car buried on the salvage yard lot. Hudson and Charlie team up with Lucy, a social-media savvy teen who’s looking for justice for her own family tragedy. As the unlikely trio look for answers, their own lives are put in jeopardy. 

This is a promising debut from author Scott Blackburn. He does a great job setting the scene in a small, rural southern town. I really liked the relationship between Hudson, Charlie, and Lucy as the three take on their own investigation. Fans of southern noir should make sure this on is on your TBR.
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Perfect for fans of Southern noir. Hudson didn't expect his father to be murder, that he would inherit the scrap yard, that he would inherit Charlie, or that he would inherit the body of Lucy's brother, who is found in the trunk of a car there but he has.  Hudson isn't really welcome in Flint Creek, nor is he especially welcomed by the cantankerous Charlie or the police who don't seem interested in looking further into the murders.  Lucy, however, is one determined teen and she ultimately convinces Hudson and Charlie to help her find the truth.  There are some classic things here (small town corruption, secrets and lies) but Blackburn has created memorable characters.  This might seem to move a little slowly in spots but wait for it..Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  No spoilers from me for this very good read.
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Set in a rural Southern town, It Dies With You by Scott Blackburn is his literary debut. Working in a bar as his boxing licence is suspended, Hudson Miller inherits a salvage yard from his estranged father. Returning to his home town of Flint Creek, North Carolina, he discovers his father’s business also included an illegal gun-running ring. Then a dead body turns up and the hunt is on for the killer. With only his elderly employee and a young Latino teenager to rely on, things escalate as the three investigate, given the Sherriff’s seeming indifference. With its wonderful characters, moody atmosphere and action and twists aplenty, makes for a four star read rating. With thanks to Crooked Lane Books and the author, for an uncorrected advanced reader copy for review purposes. As always, the opinions herein are totally my own and freely given.
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Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this book for an honest review.

A slow burn thriller that I really enjoyed.  A down and out boxer with a broken family moves back to his home town and sets about righting wrongs.  Great read!
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I received this from

"Hudson Miller's estranged father, Leland, has been murdered in what appears to be a robbery-gone-bad at his salvage yard, Miller’s Pull-a-Part."

A good read with an interesting plot and plenty of action and likable characters.

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Debut novel and I can see that this author will do great things. This was a little slow and a bit of a dark/noir (not my favorite) but the story was compelling. 

Hudson is a banned professional boxer turned bartender who receives a surprise inheritance from his estranged father after he is murdered. Which isn't necessarily a good thing. First of all he has to move back to the rural small town he had managed to escape and figure out how to run his father's salvage yard. Charlie, his father's only employee, sticks around for which I am glad. He by far was my favorite character. Got to love crotchety old men with no filter. And then enter sassy teenage Lucy who is looking for her brother's murderer. Together these three manage to kick over more than one hornet's nest. 

I will be keeping an eye out for what Blackburn does next. I want to thank NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing me an advance copy of It Dies with You in exchange for my honest review.
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Really enjoyed this debut from Scott Blackburn. A slow burn mystery with all my favorite elements: small town, fractured family dynamics, and well developed lead characters. A great read for fans of southern crime fiction.
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For a debut novel, this was a good book, but not exactly one I'd highly recommend. The story was not going at a very fast pace, and I never really felt any connection with any of the characters. I'm sure other people would love it more than I did.
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Hudson Miller, recently demoted boxer, now bouncer and bartender to make ends meet, receives a call that his dad has been killed. Hud was not particular close to his dad, and is a bit surprised to find out that he now owns 3 rental units and a scrap yard. 
His dad’s killing is not the only things that shakes things up. Together with his dad’s old employee Charlie and a teenage girl named Lucy, he sets out to expose the truth. There is so much more I could say, but that would give away the story.
Great book, I really enjoyed how these unlikely characters end up working together. Definitely an addition for your “to be read” pile.
Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for an advanced copy in exchange for my opinion
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It Dies With You is a story of frail family relations where a son tries his best to do right by what was left to him by his estranged father. In doing so, he finds an unexpected ally, Charlie, who remains by his side even under the most excruciating circumstances. It has a well-put-together plot, with a lot of twists and turns that culminate in appointing the culprit (also unexpected!). The story grips the reader's attention from the beginning and you just have to keep on reading to learn what happens next! Great entertainment!
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I’ve got a thing for southern mysteries, especially those that are southern noir.   This debut isn’t as dark as some, but it’s got a nice gritty feel to it.  
Hudson Miller is dealing with a one year boxing suspension when his father is murdered, an apparent robbery gone wrong.  They were never close, so he’s shocked to learn his dad has left him his salvage yard.  But things keep going wrong as first guns and then a gruesome discovery are found on site.  
Blackburn has created some great characters.  Not just Hudson, but also Charlie and Lucy.  And he definitely has the ability to put you right in the scene.  
This isn’t fast paced, in fact, at times it almost seems to mosey.  But it kept me drawn in and curious.  I admit to figuring out who was behind the murder but not all the twists leading up to it. 
I will definitely read whatever Blackburn serves up next.  My thanks to Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books.
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Hudson Miller is a down-and-out boxer who is takes a job as a bouncer at a local, townie bar when he finds out his estranged father as been murdered. Very little is left to Hudson, except is father’s rentals and a salvage yard. With not much money left in his account, Hudson takes over the business up in Flint Creek, Michigan, but everything at the salvage yard isn't what it seems. Hudson teams up with a few others to make an unlikely trio to investigate what happened.

Scott Blackburn delivers a powerful debut thriller with It Dies With You. In this raw and gritty southern noir, Blackburn weaves together intriguing characters and elegant writing that hits you like a punch.  Blackburn should be an author that everyone picks up this summer. So far, this is my summer pick that any crime fiction fan will love.
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Wonderful debut novel for new author. Characters are well formed and strong. I am from NC and loved finding familiar places in the story. The mystery kept me turning the pages, and the story reminded me we can become whoever we want to be - we do not have to be products of where we come from.
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I loved this book. It has heart and goes places you wouldn’t expect. Yes, Roadhouse influences the machoism. Not always bad.  4/5 stars for me.
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Congratulations to Scott Blackburn for a wonderful debut. I will definitely be on the lookout for what he does next. The book was filled with interesting well developed characters. I enjoyed the male point of view which isn’t common in the books I read. It didn’t take me long to finish this book and with my busy life I don’t like wasting my time. That didn’t happen here.. Thank you Net Galley for this ARC.
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This book will be a great hand-sell for anyone who likes gritty, Southern page-turners like David Joy. The character development is terrific and believable, and I loved the diversity of the characters. It's not forced--it's the South as it is today. Blackburn gives us a snapshot of this moment in time, where the Good Old Boy network is  still firmly in charge here and there, but being dismantled (with some ambivalence) by the next generation. The addition of an immigrant character who happens to be a strong young woman is a great twist to this story.
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A fantastic haymaker of a debut novel that marries the classic rural noir themes and the prose of an establish writer.
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Hudson Miller, just shy of thirty, is a professional boxer on the downslope of a once-promising boxing career now finds himself supplementing his income as bartender and bar bouncer after a misconstrued violent video of him goes viral practically ending his boxing career.

Shortly after ignoring two cellular telephone calls from his estranged father Leland, he is later contacted by a detective from his hometown telling him his father has been murdered at his salvage yard in an apparent robbery gone wrong.

Hudson hasn’t been to Flint Creek, North Carolina in decades and upon his return is not faced with opened and welcoming arms by authorities or a hostile mother-in-law as the return of a long-lost favored son.

To add to his troubles, he soon becomes responsible for the running of the salvage yard and is forced to start dealing with elderly, set in his ways, cantankerous employee Charlie Soaf. Soaf, a former combat war veteran, is also openly hostile to Hudson, but quickly on, Hudson realizes he needs Charlie Soaf just as much as he needs Hudson.

To many, Soaf is believed to possess more information than he has cared to reveal and as more information is learned, local authorities lean to believe the murder of Hudson’s father may be an incident of a killing through criminal misadventure.

While Hudson and his father had an acrimonious relationship due to past issues, he still feels a need to solve the killing, especially when local law enforcement seems less than enthused in determining the reason for the murder, or more importantly, let alone finding a suspect.

After another grisly find at the salvage yard, Hudson and Charlie then encounter stubbornly unstoppable head-strong teenager Lucy Reyes. Reyes, with methods of her own, is on a mission in solving a mystery of her own and if Hudson and Charlier get in her way, she makes it clear there will be Hell to pay.

The trio then moves forward in their investigation leading them to encounters with a collection of oddballs, criminals, and do-nothing officials spread across several counties in North Carolina.

For me, It Dies With You started out slow and somewhat clumsy, but soon straightened out and picked up and held my attention as the story developed. The novel is set to be released in June of 2022 and succinctly described as a good summer beach read and a good start for a first-time novelist.

This review was originally published at

Netgalley provided an ARC for the return of a fair review.
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Blackburn is to be congratulated on this debut novel.  The action is clear and concise and moves at a reasonable pace.  The characters are well defined.  The timeline is straight forward and the mystery of Who dunnit or who dunnit to them or Why? made a lot of sense within the plot.  Everything is nicely tied up at the end, but yet leaves room for a sequel.

As I was reading this, I was thinking what a good TV series this would make – I hope it’s being considered as I think it would be a winner!

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Crooked Lane Books, for an ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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