Jake Leonard is a big man with a more than passing familiarity with problems. He's rapidly approaching middle age, stills struggles with Bipolar Disorder and all the memories that go with that, including a stint in juvenile jail for a violent crime committed pre-diagnosis. He's eeking out his existence in the rural south, training dogs and breaking horses, An honest-to-God cowboy. He's got a young and pretty girlfriend and He's medicated and almost happy for once. Almost.
His girlfriend, Nikki, happens to be the sheriff's daughter and a small time drug dealer. She sells weed to Jake who gives it to his best friend who's battling cancer. Nothing good lasts forever and so Nikki and Jake's relationship jumps track and she spirals into a seething pool of harder drugs, alcohol , satanic metal and low-budget porn. Jake reconnects with his ex-wife and things get even headier.
Jake is a man with a problem, many problems. Only medication and the big ol' muscle in his chest keep him in line and the power they wield over Jake Leonard and the flaming wreckage that was his life is tenuous.
The Ruin Season is an amazing read. Jake's mental condition is treated as much as a character as is Nikki or Sheriff Kelton, it's not prettied up or dumbed down, presented as honestly and sincerely as possible, not a gimmick. It is a tremendous story, it is richly rendered in character and setting and an emotional clarity that rings that Lansdale/McCarthy bell and puts the thrill in thriller.
With The Ruin Season, Triana guts you. It's with a slow and tragic blade, slightly curved and deftly sharp. He gauzes the wound with sadness and sympathy and stitches it ragged with loss and longing. These wounds will not heal quickly nor will they do so without scars.
I cannot recommend this book enough. It is fantastic!
The Ruin Season is available from Perpetual Motion Machine Press.