Minotaur, Mar 16 2010, $24.99
In Hazard, Kentucky, the Blue Gem Mine is flooded trapping several coal miners. Amos Blevins tries to rescue his peers in a frantic effort. However, in spite of his attempts, nine men die before the surface help can reach them.
Although his older brother Paul owns the Blue Gem Mine, Mine Safety and Health Administration inspector Will Murphy investigates the tragedy. Everyone assumes a whitewash, but Will detests his sibling so he digs much deeper than anyone expects. He finds problems that are beyond typical management neglect, which could close the mine; leaving his brother bankrupt and the town unemployed; but to do nothing condones unsafe conditions.
This thriller grips the audience from the opening sequence inside the mine and never slows down as the tragedy occurs, the media goes ballistic, and the inspector investigates. Readers will meet a vast cast but besides the brothers it is the surviving miners, their families and those who lost loved ones inside the Blue Gem who make the tale poignant. Will has a difficult choice to make as closing the mine destroys Hazard, but leaving it open destroys families when the next disaster occurs. Gardiner Harris hooks readers with a strong character driven relevant tale.