CJ Lyons and Erin Brockovich
Vanguard, Mar 1 2011, $25.95
Angela Joy Palladino left Scotia, West Virginia as a pregnant teen with no future there. She gave birth to physically impaired David who she has raised as a single mom; yet also went to school while holding a job. Finally AJ becomes an on the air radio celebrity as an environmental activist that People magazine dubbed “The People’s Champion”. However, her efforts to end polluting by Capitol Power led to their declaration of bankruptcy; an irate former employer calls her on the air blaming her for losing his job, his home and his dignitary as he and his family reside in a tent; the gunshot ended their one sided discussion; turning her from crusading heroine to widow-making pariah.
Litigator Zach Hardy hires her to help end the coal mining firms’ practice of mountaintop removal in Scotia. However, nothing goes right starting with her boss is dead. Her parents demand she leave while they make her and their nine years old grandson stay at her Gram Flora’s house as they do not want her under their roof. Finally Cole the father of her son is angry with what AJ did to him.
This is a character driven environmental-family drama that grips the audience from the opening gunshot until the final confrontation. The key to this strong story line is that though saving the environment is the theme, the authors insure readers understand opportunity costs like less fuel and potentially less jobs. AJ is a terrific heroine who has taken life’s gut punches but keeps on going with gusto; that enthusiasm for life is what she has given to David. With several tense subplots that tie together into a powerful taut thriller, fans will demand more similar tales from CJ Lyons and Erin Brockovich.