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Bonnie and Clyde: Dam Nation

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Saving the working class from a river of greed.

The year is 1935 and the Great Depression has America in a death grip of poverty, unemployment and starvation. But the New Deal is rekindling hope, with federally funded infrastructure projects, like Hoover Dam, putting people back to work. Set to harness the mighty Colorado River for electricity and irrigation, the dam is an engineering marvel and symbol of American can-do spirit.

So, why is someone trying to blow it up?

When an informant on the construction site is murdered, Bonnie and Clyde--spared from their gruesome deaths and forced into a covert life working for the government--are given their second assignment: stop the bomb and protect the thousands of laborers and families in the company town. It's their most dangerous mission yet: working for a living.

Can the notorious lovers put aside their criminal ways long enough to find out who wants to extinguish the American dream, and hopefully reclaim a shred of redemption along the way?

The thrilling story cuts back and forth between the modern era where a reporter interviews the now-elderly Bonnie Parker, and the dangerous 1930s undercover exploits of Bonnie and Clyde, as they are thrust into a fight to defend the working class against corporate greed.

Dam Nation continues the explosive "what-if" series about two unlikely heroes fighting to defend the working class during America's Great Depression, a historical thriller with unsettling contemporary parallels.

Resurrection Road is the first book in the Bonnie and Clyde series.

Dam Nation is the second book in the Bonnie and Clyde series.

344 pages, Paperback

Published March 24, 2018

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About the author

Clark Hays

16 books130 followers
I'm an ex-poet, lapsed cowboy and whiskey enthusiast living in Portland, Oregon, with my lovely life, writing and Rummikub partner Kathleen McFall. We've written ten books together so far.

The most recent is a sci-fi series and the third book in the trilogy is set for release Feb.14, 2022:

Mars Adrift (coming soon)
Scorched Earth
Gates of Mars

We also wrote an alternative history series about Bonnie and Clyde:

Resurrection Road
Dam Nation

And we wrote four books in the award-winning Cowboy and Vampire Collection:

A Very Unusual Romance
Blood and Whiskey
Rough Trails and Shallow Graves (named to Kirkus Reviews best indie books of 2014)
The Last Sunset (silver medalist, 2017 Independent Publisher National Book Awards; Indie Reader best books of 2016)

I also wrote Just West of Hell, a collection of Western Gothic short stories which Kathleen, thankfully, edited.

You can learn more about the books, and what it's like to write with the person you love, at https://www.pumpjackpress.com. Follow along on facebook/cowboyandvampire and Instagram/@cowboyvampire

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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews
Profile Image for Kristine Hall.
827 reviews44 followers
May 23, 2018
When I read and am WOW’d by a first book in a series, I am always nervous about the second book. What if that first one was just a fluke and the next one is a fail? What if the author(s) take it in a different direction? What if I am disappointed? And for a series that’s all about WHAT IF, waiting for the publication of Bonnie and Clyde: Dam Nation, the anxiety level was even higher. I guess I have book series trust issues. In my gut, I knew that in Dam Nation, good ol’ Bonnie and Clyde would kick ass and take names, but the brain kept whispering WHAT IF they don’t?

"You don't use good dogs to guard the junkyard; you use the meanest g****n dogs you can get a collar around."

I am happy to report that the gut was correct, and my trust issues were terribly misplaced. Dam Nation is a full throttle thrill ride. Seriously, I am worn out by the action and like “Brenda and Clarence” (as they are renamed), after this adventure around the building and saving of Hoover Dam, I need to go collapse on a Mexican beach for a while, adult beverage in hand. Authors Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall continue the story of Bonnie and Clyde, who are very much alive and very much owned by a secret government operation.

As in book one, Resurrection Road, there are dual story lines going on in Dam Nation. One is set in 1984, with a Lubbock journalist helping an aged Bonnie investigate loose ends and record the real story of Bonnie’s and Clyde’s lives after their supposed demise in 1934, at the ambush in Louisiana. A (mostly) reformed Bonnie wants to make amends for past wrongs done by her and to her, and she’s chosen Royce to make that happen. Readers will enjoy seeing that the spunk and spark in eighty-year-old Bonnie is much the same as the version of her fifty years earlier.

"Everyone has a purpose in life, and perhaps they are fulfilling theirs."

The second story line is the beefier of the two, with Bonnie/Brenda and Clyde/Clarence sent on assignment to learn who is sabotaging the building of Hoover Dam. Is it the union? The mob? Italian anarchists? Of course, nothing is as straightforward as it should be, and the story progresses with B & C turning into working jerks who must put in a full day to make their living. The scenes of the two of them dealing with being nine-to-fivers were some of the most humorous (I hear ya, Clyde, on waking up too early and to an alarm every day; and I hear you, Bonnie, on not taking on the domestic goddess role. Groceries are overrated.). The couple is still as sexually charged as ever, and they are fiercely loyal to and protective of each other. There is a unique dynamic to their relationship not only because of all they’ve been through together, but because of a mutual respect for each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Readers can’t help but love this couple and will be reconciling their current and former personae, seeking to forgive them as Bonnie and Clyde do the same of themselves. They continue to be works in progress, and that’s one of the best hooks in the series.

In Dam Nation, the scenes are more realistic, and readers don’t have to suspend their disbelief or stretch to accept the action. Bonnie and Clyde are good at being bad, and they have skills beyond the average person, but they aren’t over the top, and that’s a good shift in this book.

The writing in Dam Nation is excellent, with the dialogue being especially good. Due to the word choices and sentence structures, writers will really hear Clyde's voice. Hays and McFall incorporate interesting facts of the times (like the expense of the twenty-five-cent movie) and factoids on the size and scope of the Boulder (Hoover) Dam program, but it’s organically done and never feels like an info-dump. There were some references (like my fave girl, Nancy Drew) that will surprise readers who may not realize how long those things have been around. The book is well-researched, and as with Resurrection Road, it draws parallels and highlights the flaws in the political system that persist into current times. Except for some typos and run-ons (that won’t likely distract anyone from the fabulous story), it was cleanly edited. (For those who care [who, me?], in true journalistic form, the Oxford Comma, sadly, is missing.)

As Bonnie and Clyde might say, Dam Nation was a fun kick in the pants, and I highly recommend it. I know I am going to suffer the consequences of reading it straight through and seeing the sun rise as I finished, but really, isn’t that how the best books work? The hangover is well worth it. Based on that ending, I had better rest-up because it feels like a next installment is coming. Better be!

Thank you to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and the authors for providing me a gorgeous (this COVER) print copy in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give. This full review and other special features on Hall Ways Blog

Profile Image for William.
71 reviews
May 17, 2018
Bonnie and Clyde: Dam Nation is book two in a series from Kathleen McFall and Clark Hays that explores a what-if scenario where Bonnie and Clyde didn't die in 1934. Instead, the famous duo's death was staged, and they were forced into helping a secret part of the government with stopping an assassination attempt on the President Roosevelt's life. Book two picks up after the events of the first book. Sal, their boss, appears again in their lives to send them on another dangerous mission. This time they must figure out who wants to blow up the Hoover Dam and stop it from happening.

Dam Nation follows the same format of the first book. You get an alternating story. The first being Bonnie talking to a reporter, Royce, and the investigation he works on to figure out if the story she is telling is true. You then get the story Bonnie is telling about the life she and Clyde lived after being pulled into working for the government. I did enjoy more of the interview side of the story this time around because it started to have more action this time around than a reporter being surprised at what he hears.

I really enjoyed the book, and I easily recommend it. I like the Bonnie and Clyde characters in this book quite a bit. Their back-and-forth banter amuses me, and I like the comments they make to others, especially Clyde. I've always been a fan of dry humor, and I feel the book has a good amount. I actually found myself laughing out loud at Clyde's attempts at waking up with an alarm clock after he and Bonnie start their assignment.

The book has a good amount of action too. I found it hard to put the book down because I wanted to know what would happen next. I think that is a big part of what appeals to me in these books is the chases, fights, and suspense. Knowing that someone was there to blow up a dam, but not knowing who it might be added to my intrigued. There were enough "bad" characters in the book to make me keep guessing at who would be the ones to want to blow up the dam. Any book that can hold my attention like that is a definite winner.

I can see one part of the book that some people might have issues with since people are so politically aggravated these days. The book does have a very pro-union approach to the story. Not in a bad way, but I know how people seem to react to things these days and thought it fair to bring up. It does play into the story considering most of the book takes place on a massive construction project during the same year the National Labor Relations Act was passed.

I do like little throwbacks to other things in books. If you look into what other books Kathleen and Clark have written you will find a book series called The Cowboy and the Vampire. I first found these authors reading and following that series, and I really loved it, so imagine my delight when there is a little comment in this book to someone looking like a cowboy that had been attacked by a vampire.

So there you have it. Another great book by these two. If you haven't read the first book in this series, I highly recommend it before you dive into this one. Dam Nation does hold up fairly well on it's own, though, so you could just jump right into this one too, but you would be missing out.
Profile Image for Christena.
219 reviews52 followers
December 18, 2021
“Hours later, the desert sun began to sink and brilliant oranges and pinks lit up the cloudless sky. Dirty, tired and hungry, Clyde slid up the canyon wall inside the crowded cable car, eager to see Bonnie.”

Where do I begin with this review?

First, I’ve been eagerly looking forward to reading the next book in the reimagined history in the Bonnie and Clyde series. The first book, Resurrection Road helped me end 2017 with one of the best books I’d read that year.

Second, let me state Bonnie and Clyde Dam Nation is a beautiful book to hold. The cover is nice and thick, along with paper inside.

Third, this story is even more intriguing with its twists and turns than the first book in this series by Authors Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall.

Now comes my OMG! The book takes up right where the first book ended with Bonnie and Clyde. This time the reimagined history of the famed couple takes them to Boulder City to find out who is behind sabotaging the Boulder Dam. Deaths and several other accidents have occurred and the government wants the couple to find out who’s behind it. What entails is a lot of broken alarm clocks, unscrupulous men, corrupt lawmen, and good people looking out for others down the road. That’s not to mention the man who reportedly shot Bonnie and Clyde in Louisiana and tracks them down to Boulder City.

The most intriguing part of this book and in the first book for me is the weaving of the current story with Royce, the Lubbock, Texas reporter who was contacted by Bonnie to write the true story behind what really happened to Bonnie and Clyde. I love doing research and this truly connects with me. Part of Royce’s research journey was finding out who the couple was in the car that was killed instead of Bonnie and Clyde. In Dam Nation, the most touching part of the book is when Bonnie confronts the woman whose sister was killed in Bonnie’s place. As the story progresses with Royce’s research, unknown men are now trying to kill him and possibly Bonnie.

As a side note, I am starting to wonder what the connection to Lubbock, Texas is with the authors. Some of the descriptions are very dead on, like with Clapp Park reference from this book.

Dam Nation took me deeper into unimaginable twists and turns that I did not see coming. That’s what is so great about the writing style and story by these authors. Hays and McFall still can deftly weave together present and past timelines that kept me engaged in the story without falter.

The reimagined history is taken to another new level of what could’ve been with these notorious outlaws that were either loved or hated.

Next book, please! Thanks, Clark and Kathleen for creating a beautiful, crafted, well-written memorable story. I hope to meet them someday to autograph my books. Now, I’ll anxiously await the next book in the series to discover what happens next to Royce and Bonnie, as well as how Clyde met his final end. Because often fiction is way better than reality.
Profile Image for Jenn Belden.
Author 1 book9 followers
May 24, 2018
Y'all, I have been waiting for this book since I turned the last page in Resurrection Road, which was the first book in their Bonnie and Clyde series. The story was just that good.

Thankfully, Dam Nation does NOT disappoint. Authors Hays and McFall have brought even more twists and turns than an old mountain road, and it contains the same quick and clever dialogue, brilliant imagery, interesting characters and good laughs as the first.

Dam Nation picks up right where Resurrection Road left off in a dual timeline format. The book opens in 1984 where reporter Royce is investigating the elderly (but still feisty Bonnie's) story, which in the last book she contacted him about writing.  As Royce gets closer to the truth, pressure is placed on him to back off. Part of his research involves helping Bonnie uncover the mystery of who was shot and killed, and buried in their place back in 1934 in rural Louisiana.

Alternating with Bonnie's present day situation is the story of how Bonnie and Clyde are called to Nevada to investigate who is trying to destroy Hoover Dam. The possible suspects range from the mob, the anarchists, the union organizers - or could it even be big business itself? The authors successfully mix danger and treachery with humor. Neither Bonnie nor Clyde are used to regular work (let alone housework, or even grocery shopping) so their undercover work is both tense and highly entertaining.
I'll never look at the old wind-up alarm clock in my guest room again without laughing, either.

This series continues to delight, and as the situation in the present day grows more dangerous as mysterious men in cowboy hats  appear to be after Royce, we're left wanting more.  McFall and Hays do an amazing job of weaving the two timelines, and it wasn't until I turned the last page that it hit me - they didn't disclose how Clyde ended up in a wheelchair, or how he died.  I think their reimagined history is possibly even more outrageous and wild than stories of their life before their death.

I guess I will need to bide my time until the next book comes out.  Authors, please don't keep me waiting long.

I was provided with a copy of the book for review purposes.
All thoughts and opinions are fully my own.
Profile Image for Lorilei Gonzales.
163 reviews3 followers
May 20, 2018
Imagine that Bonnie and Clyde didn’t die in 1934. Imagine that another couple had been ambushed in Sailes and that the real Bonnie and Clyde were recruited – well, maybe blackmailed is a better word – to do bad things in order to protect the good things in America. Book 1 of the Bonnie and Clyde series, Resurrection Road, kicked off that very premise and posed the questions: (1) who are Bonnie and Clyde working for and (2) who is the couple that got killed?

Dam Nation, the sequel, continues the pursuit for those answers since book 1 didn’t even come close to revealing them. Other things that carry over from the first book is the fast paced writing and witty dialogue. There is never a dull moment in these books. Every character is colorful, even if that color might be a little gray, and there is certainly a large cast. Surprisingly, I didn’t need to refer back to remember who was whom since the character names were so different from each other and they were truly unique individuals.

Bonnie and Clyde have always been romanticized as the original ride or die couple, and this book backs that claim up. Not only are the two super hot and heavy at the drop of a hat, but they are fiercely protective of each other. I especially enjoyed how Clyde would say something to the effect of, “Oh, you’re in trouble now” or “she’s the one you should be worried about” when their foes try to belittle Bonnie. It’s hard to dislike the notorious couple when you see their compassion spread outward to their few friends.

This book ties up all the loose ends from the prequel but it ends on a somewhat dissonant note. It makes me wonder if there will be a third book. If there is, I’m reading it.
6 reviews
July 21, 2020
Like other Hays and McFall books I've enjoyed, the second book of this creative trilogy left me intellectually stimulated, emotionally excited and wanting more at the end! The authors' writing sucked me immediately into the story--effortlessly. Let the "Resurrection" journey resume... fast moving action and colorful characters integrate humor with Depression Era culture while juxtaposing our American past with our present. Hays and McFall deftly inform and educate (subtly) via rich storytelling. Why they chose Bonnie and Clyde for a historical "What if..." is slowly revealed across the whole trilogy. What I truly enjoy is the layers of storytelling steeped in American socioeconomic political history--presented in context for a comprehensive appreciation of our current times. Well done-- highly recommend!
Profile Image for Lisa.
88 reviews
June 7, 2018
This is book 2 in a “what if” series about Bonnie and Clyde and is even better than the first, which I thought was excellent.
What if Bonnie and Clyde didn’t die in the shoot out and instead went on to work for a secret organization to solve crimes.
In this book, they are sent to find out who is trying to slow down or stop construction of Hoover Dam - is it the mob, the union, the anarchists or someone else? In the current day story that is woven throughout, Bonnie and the reporter are trying to find out who died instead of B & C in the shootout that supposedly took their lives.
The book is full of action, humor and interesting parallels between 1935 and current politics and attitudes. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down!
Profile Image for Becca.
278 reviews39 followers
July 8, 2018
It was an unexpectedly fun read. Had lots of twists and turns.
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews

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