Item description for Road to Nowhere by Paul Robertson & Greg Whalen...
Overview For years, Wardsville, North Carolina, sat nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, a peaceful small town. The kind of place where neighbors care for each other. But that's until unexpected funding arrives to build a road into town.Suddenly, this quiet town becomes torn in two, with everybody looking first to their own interests...and somebody willing to commit murder to make sure things go their way. Told through the eyes of its "everyday" citizens, this twisting, turning murder mystery reinforces Paul Robertson's place as one of the premier suspense novelists in the Christian market today.
Publishers Description For years, Wardsville, North Carolina, sat nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, a peaceful small town. The kind of place where neighbors care for each other. But that's until unexpected funding arrives to build a road into town. Suddenly, this quiet town becomes torn in two, with everybody looking first to their own interests, and somebody willing to commit murder to make sure things go their way.
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Format: Abridged, Audiobook, CD
Studio: Oasis Audio
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 6.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.7" Weight: 0.35 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 2008
Publisher OASIS AUDIO #514
ISBN 159859379X ISBN13 9781598593792
Reviews - What do customers think about Road to Nowhere?
enthralling small town lives vs. big city plans Sep 7, 2008
I'm not a reader of "Christian" literature. But Robertson doesn't make faith an anvil to drop in this story, but rather a subtle theme of spirituality that is reasonably present in a small North Carolina town in the mountains.
Robertson is skilled at depicting characters through dialogue, and the members of the board of the town council (referred to by one character as "tribal elders") are all indelibly unique character portraits. The friendly hairdresser, the taciturn farmer, the wishy-washy insurance salesman, the greedy real estate developer ... these and other characters quickly come to show more shades and nuances that transcend the potential for cliche.
When the prospect of a new road divides the town members into warring camps, the question of right and wrong begins to guide everyone's actions. And each character's moral strength is put to the test further when two deaths of Town Council members turn out to be murder. But what to do with a Sheriff who won't investigate, engineers who don't think the road is feasible, doctors and coroners and other pillars of the small society all ending up in opposition to each other?
Robertson uses various rhythmic patterns to shift from character to character, showing the council members at home with their spouses, all simultaneously having their various dinners, or (in a memorable sequence) the thoughts of a congregation all in their own worlds during a sermon.
I was worried when one of the non-Christian characters had the potential to become a town pariah, and while she does undergo a conversion of sorts in her beliefs by the end of the story, her changes are subtle and experience-based, and she does not turn out to be the killer (as she might in a more lurid and simplistic tale).
The question isn't really ultimately who did it, but why, and other questions such as the nature of good and evil, fear of and hope for progress, adaptability and familial warfare across generations, all play a role in this engrossing tale. While cliche's occur (a fire and a flood feature at different points, both telegraphed with unsubtle foreshadowing) it is the simple decency of many of those elders, trying to do their best for their unruly constituents, that makes this story memorable and convincing as a portrait of a Southern town where the unfamiliar is so unusual as to trigger dangerous reactions.
Larger politics and alternate lifestyles don't figure into the story at all, which I suppose is sort of a trope of this genre: the most we get is a shared belief by all characters in the corruption of Raleigh (as the state's governmental center) and of most government officials. But the focus stays on the local plot at hand, for as Chairman Joe repeats in a refrain, "Ain't no trouble like a road."
Enter the realm of small town politics Jul 21, 2008
Reviewed by Lisa Kisner for Reader Views (7/08)
It sounds pretty simple. A road is proposed to connect two remote towns. The road will make the commute between the towns easier and bring together the communities, allowing change and growth. The road provides endless ways to transform their towns and create new business opportunities and a wider customer base. However, not everyone wants change. As the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors prepares to make their final vote on the proposed road, the county is divided into two sides -- those for and those against the road. Neighbors, friends and family members turn on each other as the vote looms ever closer. Questions arise as it comes to light that there are people outside the county intent on building the road for their own purposes. As confrontations escalate the townspeople are faced with another question: Would someone kill for the road?
When you begin reading this book you enter the realm of small town politics. Decisions that appear to be simple take on a whole new meaning when people you know are directly impacted. This book is told from the point of view of the five supervisors. It gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the thoughts and motivations of the people who must decide whether or not to allow the road to be built. In the beginning, the reader may become confused as you rocket from one point of view to another, with only a space between paragraphs announcing the change. However, the reader will soon adapt to this shifting easily as the characters become familiar. The multiple points of view end up enhancing the story rather than detracting from it. The main characters are well-developed and realistic. In the end you feel as if you know them well. It was very interesting to see each of them wrestle what is best for the town and what is best for their own personal interests.
Embedded in the politics of the story is a finely-crafted mystery surrounding the death of a board member. The author, Paul Robertson, throws out multiple red herrings in "Road to Nowhere" that succeed in keeping the reader guessing until the end on the motivation and identity of the killer. Readers of fiction and mystery alike will enjoy this thriller about what happens when big changes are proposed for small towns.
A Book About a Road? Yes! May 24, 2008
Road to Nowhere
You know someone is a talented author when he can write a novel about a road and make it a page-turner. Paul Robertson has done just that.
A small county made up of small towns, mere blips on the state map, situated miles from everywhere else suddenly receives the possibility of a chance to connect, change and grow. A road. This opportunity lands in the lap of the county government members and the folks in their jurisdiction soon make their wishes and demands known.
Who is behind the road? Does someone feel strongly enough about it to kill? What is the right decision?
I read this novel with the same sense of wonder I felt watching the interactions of the 12 Angry Men. Road to Nowhere is a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts and triggers and behaviors of people caught up in a cause. It is also a finely crafted novel nothing like his other impressive work, The Heir.
deep regional drama Apr 2, 2008
On Jan 2 in North Carolina, the Jefferson County North Carolina Board of Supervisors meets with the new Chair Joe Esterhouse who just replaced the recently deceased Mort Walker. Joe reads a document from Raleigh for the county to apply for a grant and if they succeed in obtaining the money determine whether they want a road to bring the Gold River Highway over a mountain to Wardsville. They vote in the affirmative. However the county residents split in two between supporters and dissenters.
The people of Gold Valley with expensive homes want the highway to cut down on their commute. A developer Charlie Richer wants it done so he begins bribing folks to vote for the highway and Selectman Wade Morris is killed when his car goes off an embankment. Joe thinks some one murdered both men and another selectman was shot so he works behind the scenes trying to uncover who has taken the debate to a lethal level.
From the onset when he makes his proposal Joe knows the locals will be polarized into two camps, but believes the highway is the right thing for the county. However, he never anticipated how violent and ultimately deadly the argument turned as neighbors and families turn on each other and the selectmen. Thus readers obtain a regional drama with a whodunit wrapped inside it.
Road to Nowhere led to a wonderful surprise. Apr 2, 2008
Paul Robertson has created a great tale. I was caught up after reading the first page of 'Road To Nowhere' and could hardly put it down.
It is a wonderful story of a small town at perhaps it's best and most assuredly at it's worst.
Who would have thought that a simple plan to build a road could destroy a town before the bulldozers even get started! Or even get a man killed?
'Road To Nowhere' is told from the point of view of each of the city board members. We get to see the various sides of the story as it unfolds and it unfolds at a rapid pace.
I am glad to have read this and will be looking up more of Paul Robertson's work.