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The Girl From Blind River: A Novel

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3.37  ·  Rating details ·  956 ratings  ·  170 reviews
A gritty tale of how far we’ll go to protect the ones we love for fans of Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone and Emma Cline’s The Girls from Gale Massey, a talented new name in crime fiction.

Everyone says the Elders family are nothing but cheats, thieves, and convicts—a fact nineteen-year old Jamie Elders has been trying desperately to escape. She may have the natural talent
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Kindle Edition
Published July 10th 2018 by Crooked Lane Books
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Paromjit
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gale Massey makes a gritty and thrilling crime debut set in small town, Parsons, in New York, a place where once your family is saddled with a history and reputation as convicts, thieves and cheats, its hard to escape the heavy weight of peoples' judgements and expectations. 19 year old Jamie Elders is bright and intelligent, her life has not been easy, her mother is in prison, and all she wants is to escape from Parsons. She is a great poker player, a gift honed from her mother's skills in the ...more
Susanne Strong
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.25 Stars* (rounded down)

The Elders Family and trouble go hand in hand. When one of member of the family gets out of it, another gets into it.


Phoebe Elders was in prison for as long as Jamie could remember, so she pretty much raised her younger brother Toby on her own, no thanks to her Uncle Loyal. Jamie simply did what she had to do to do to get by, and by that I mean gambling just like her mama. Too bad Jamie had to “borrow” a few K from her Uncle Loyal after losing all her savings.. She pla
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Diane S ☔
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The odds were against her from the start. Jamie Elders, 19, comes from a family of thieves, crooks and liars. Her mom, recently out of prison after eight years, Jamie and her younger brother Toby, were raised by their uncle Lloyd. Lloyd runs an illegal gambling ring, and pays money to a powerful local judge. Jamie wants nothing more than to escape Blind River, have a different life, but she has neither the money nor the means. Although her skill at cards may give her a chance, she has one weakne ...more
Liz
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley

This book did a slow burn and caught me all in. I was as nervous as Jamie at the casino. And she’s got plenty of trouble. She’s loyal to her brother, despite him being a bully and damaged goods.

Massey paints a grim picture of Blind River. We all know these kind of towns that are beyond down on their luck. “Small town bullshit. She’d been born into it and knew exactly how her life would play out if she stayed. Two or three kids, a divorce or two. A dead-end job that would keep her half-starved i
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Linda
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
All in or nothing.....

Kinda hard when so much is at stake and the chips are always stacked against you.

Jamie Elders is but nineteen. She's seen life through the eyes of one scraping at the slippery sides of this bottomless pit, just aching to get out. It's a seedy little town, Blind River, stashed away near the lonely railroad tracks in upper state New York. All roads lead to nowhere fast.

But Jamie has a gift for the cards. She's learned from her sleazy uncle, Loyal, that the faster you shuffle,
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Melki
"What's in store for you? A life of ratty babies, meaningless jobs, waiting tables like your mother, or living off welfare and the taxes of hard-working people. Or worse? That's all there is for girls like you. No one expects a thing better from your kind."

The rumor around town is that the Elders family is cursed, and nineteen-year old Jamie Elders believes that to be true. She'd like nothing more than to blow the snow and ice of crappy little Blind River, NY, off her shoulders, and head to sunn
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Eve Recinella (Between The Bookends)
description


This book was bloody fantastic! The writing was excellent. It was well paced. The plot was super engaging and had me hooked right from the start. The characters were well developed and intriguing. I loved the gritty small town feel it had. The only negative thing and why this wasn't a complete 5-Star book, I thought the ending was a bit rushed. I would have liked a bit more closure. Or maybe a farther look into the future. Perhaps there will be a follow-up book? In any case, that was just a smal
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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“Follow your heart but always bet your spades.”



It’s been a minute since I've done this, but Gale Massey’s debut novel gets all the Starzzzzzzzzzz.

The Girl From Blind River is the story of Jamie – a girl whose mother went to prison when she was just 10 years old, leaving her and her 9 year old brother Toby to be raised by their uncle Loyal. Now a young adult and out of high school, Jamie dreams of running away and hitting the pro cir
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Darinda
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Jamie Elders desperately wants to escape her small town, and her family's reputation as criminals. Unfortunately, she makes a poor decision, and winds up in debt to her uncle. Since she is now in debt to him, he expects her to follow his demands. One night, those demands include disposing of a dead man. With Jamie's future on the line, she must decide to be a criminal, or follow the law.

A debut novel by Gale Massey. Well developed characters in an interesting story. Jamie is 19-years-old, and dr
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Jennifer
Small-town corruption, a dysfunctional family (and not in a funny way), and a nineteen year old girl trying to get the heck out of dodge. Jamie Elders has learned a lot from her family... mostly what not to do. She wants a clean break and to be the first who doesn't fall into a life of crime. Her impressive poker skills just might help her get enough money to start a life far away from this stagnant town. But when her plan backfires, her debt puts her in over her head and serious dominoes start ...more
Book of the Month
Why I Love It
by Siobhan Jones

There have been dozens of great novels about the fleeting highs of gambling—BOTM has even featured one before, recommended by none other than the great Anthony Bourdain. Most of those books feature the usual bluffs and tells, big money and big losses. This month, we’re offering a story that includes all that and a little more: a blue-collar tale of backroom card games, small-town politicking, and a talented young card shark in a whole lot of debt.

Jamie is a 19-year-o
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Mary Keliikoa
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of this amazing debut through Net Galley.

Jaimie Elders is 19 and trapped in a small town, trying to live down the reputation of a mother who'd been in prison, a troubled brother where her loyalty runs deep, and being indebted to an uncle that has masked his reasons for taking her and her brother in for his own illegal gambling activities.

The tale is familiar--a diabolical judge that runs the town, the married man who uses a young girl, a murder tha
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Tracy Malenfant
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Girl From Blind River jumps right in and moves quickly. There is a parallel between the skill, patience and ability to read people that Jamie has learned through poker that enable her to make difficult decisions, navigate family dynamics and analyze people. A mystery with depth…wonderful read from this debut author.
Barbara Stein
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A captivating, gritty and crisp page turning criminal thriller with a fascinating and emotionally gripping protagonist in a colorful life setting that makes reading this book a delight. I can't wait to read more from this incredibly talented debut author whose name will soon become one of the genre's greats.
LV
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic, dazzling debut that provides glimpses into the underbelly of illegal gambling. It's a true page turner that will keep you engaged to the end. I can't wait to see the next book from this author!
Linda Strong
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
It all comes down to choices.

The Elders family are known as con-men, liars, cheats, all around the sort of people you don't want your children associating with. Teenager Jamie gets caught in the middle while trying desperately to leave this small town and her family.

One bad decision on her part puts her at her uncle's mercy. Because of what she did, she now owes her uncle an insane amount of money ... and she has to stay until it's all repaid. And then there is her younger brother, Toby. Could s
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Kyle Robertson
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a stunning debut novel by Gale Massey.

Jamie and her younger brother Toby live with their Uncle Loyal. He got custody of the kids when their mother was locked up. Jamie desperately wants to get out of Blind River and make a better life for her and Toby. All Toby dreams about is joining the Army when he gets out of school. The only thing holding him back is a terrible temper and a string of bad decisions.

Jamie has become a pretty good online poker player, and she occasionally deals for h
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Randee Green
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

THE GIRL FROM BLIND RIVER, Gale Massey’s debut mystery novel, is due out July 10th 2018 by Crooked Lane Books.

Nineteen year old Jamie Elder would like nothing more than to move on from her past – but that’s hard to do when she can’t even escape her hometown of Blind River, New York. Jamie’s father died when she was a child, and, not long after, her mother was convicted to an eight year prison term. Jamie, and her younger brother, Toby, have lived
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Suanne
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Girl from Blind River is a fast-paced, impressive debut novel from Gale Massey. In it we meet Jamie Elders, a young woman of nineteen who’s trapped in Blind River, a small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business and in which children are pegged from birth to follow family bloodlines.

When Jamie and her brother were young, their mother was sent to prison. Their uncle Loyal took them in, saving them from the “evils” of the Social Services Department. Anxious to break away and branch
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Stephenie Geschwender
I received an arc of this from the publisher Crooked Lane in exchange for a review. For me the ending is where all the best things happen. In the beginning the story moves very slow, and it is difficult to get into for about the first 100 pages. That being said once the story takes off the twist and turns keep you interested.

That being said some criticisms that I have are all personal reader preferences. For one thing there are multiple perspectives in this book and I had a major plot point ent
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L Corky
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#TheGirlFromBlindRIver #NetGalley

Thank you #NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the E-ARC copy of this book

Life can be tough living in a small town where everyone knows everyone. It can be even tougher when your family has a terrible reputation. When Jamie's mother goes to prison her and her brother Toby move in with their Uncle Loyal. Loyal is a con man, running crooked poker games and gambling machines. Jamie is forced to work for her uncle and to help him hide a dead body. Will Jamie and her
...more
Renee
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Description
Everyone says the Elders family are nothing but cheats, thieves, and convicts—a fact nineteen-year old Jamie Elders has been trying desperately to escape. She may have the natural talent of a poker savant, but her dreams of going pro and getting the hell out of the tiny town of Blind River, New York are going nowhere fast. Especially once she lands in a huge pile of debt to her uncle Loyal.
My Thoughts
Jamie has the misfortune to come from a small town where everyone has some kind of re
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L Corky
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
#TheGirlFromBlindRIver #NetGalley

Thank you #NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the E-ARC copy of this book

Life can be tough living in a small town where everyone knows everyone. It can be even tougher when your family has a terrible reputation. When Jamie's mother goes to prison her and her brother Toby move in with their Uncle Loyal. Loyal is a con man, running crooked poker games and gambling machines. Jamie is forced to work for her uncle and to help him hide a dead body. Will Jamie and her
...more
P.J. Vernon
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review forthcoming.
Jo
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm sure if I understood poker I would have enjoyed this book more. All the talk of this card versus this on the river, I just didn't get. Jamie seemed a spunky protagonist even if she was naive at times. Jack was bad news - anyone could see that. Still she trusted him. I just don't like to gamble with anything. Money, love, job. I like secure. It is hard for me to understand why anyone would risk something a deck of cards. In all the movies and books, it never ends well.
Jaime North
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So I actually loved this book.
And I knew I was going to like it because in the first chapter, while reading I got the vibe where it was reminding me a bit of The Outsiders. Even though that was pretty much the end of the similarities, it was still off to an amazing start.

For one thing, this book was just different from anything else I had read lately. When people catch onto trends and it’s like they toy around with the same ideas in different ways, it was refreshing to read something different.
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Coleen (The Book Ramblings)
Blind River is a town you would not want to be caught in but Gale Massey has written the ideal atmospheric thriller that everyone should be reading this fall. A full review will be posted soon on the blog and here!
Rochelle
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgally, 2018
Review forthcoming.
Glenda Bailey-Mershon
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I like few books as much as The Girl from Blind River. If I could give it 4.5 stars, I would only because it meanders just a bit early on in setting up Jamie Elder’s story. But four stars just won’t do. Why? Because, wow, this is one great debut novel.

This book may be marketed as crime or mystery, but don’t be fooled. The author, Gale Massey, has a message she wants you to get and a theme she develops to provide the spine of the mystery, and she builds that framework and message brilliantly. Th
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Albert
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Girl From Blind River by Gale Massey is another novel that readers of popular fiction will pass right by and not realize the gem of a book this one really is. Gritty and brutally honest, this is the tale of what we do for the ones we love and how the forces of family and small town America can keep us down. Comparisons will be made to Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone and if you don't know what that book is, then it is well past time for you to expand your horizons.

"...I see it all the time.
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The Bookends Here: September: Criminal Choices 1 4 Sep 01, 2018 04:07PM  
Book of The Month: The Girl From Blind River 2 13 Jul 27, 2018 07:32AM  
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Gale Massey's debut novel, The Girl From Blind River, is a coming of age story set against family dysfunction, illegal gambling and small town corruption.
Praise for The Girl From Blind River:
"With this dazzling debut, Gale Massey arrives as a rare talent, a writer's writer who should be read by the masses. The Girl From Blind River is a swift and thrilling story anchored by compelling characters
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