Owen and Duncan are childhood friends who've grown up in picturesque Niagara Falls--known to them by the grittier name Cataract City. As the two know well, there's more to the bordertown than meets the eye: behind the gaudy storefronts and sidewalk vendors, past the hawkers of tourist T-shirts and cheap souvenirs live the real people who scrape together a living by toiling at the Bisk, the local cookie factory. And then there are the truly desperate, those who find themselves drawn to the borderline and a world of dog-racing, bare-knuckle fighting, and night-time smuggling.
Owen and Duncan think they are different: both dream of escape, a longing made more urgent by a near-death incident in childhood that sealed their bond. But in adulthood their paths diverge, and as Duncan, the less privileged, falls deep into the town's underworld, he and Owen become reluctant adversaries at opposite ends of the law. At stake is not only survival and escape, but a lifelong friendship that can only be broken at an unthinkable price.
I won this book a few months ago with my old Goodreads account, but due to the backlog of books I had...it took awhile to read it, especially as I ended up deleted my account at a Goodreads soon after receiving this.
I had no idea what to expect with this book. I hadn't read any books by the author prior to this and when I finally picked it up...I was a bit apprehensive as I noticed a blurb by Chuck Paluniunk and figured that this was definitely going to be one of those kinds of books...you know, a book that you probably shouldn't eat while reading and forget about reading right before trying to sleep...
To my relief though, this book was not one long shock fest. Sure, there were a few instances in the book that I felt my stomach clench up in disgust by blood and gore...it was a surprisingly great coming of age book reminiscent of say, Stephen King's The Body (aka Stand by Me). I truly was impressed.