The Locals by Jonathan Dee (Corsair) ISBN: 9781472151933
I found The Locals to be relevant and disturbing because of its honesty. It was a bit disjointed at times, but it delivers some serious punches.
When 9/11 happens, Phil Hadi, a wealthy billionaire spirits his family away to the quietly destitute town of Howland. His immense wealth and paranoia create ripples within the close knit community. Hadi hires a down and out local contractor Mark Firth to do some work on his summer home.
Reeling from some bad financial decisions and in the throes of a miserable marriage to Karen, Mark is grateful for the job, but can’t help to compare his circumstances to that of his wealthy employer. Under Hadi’s subtle influence, Mark starts to buy foreclosed homes with the idea of flipping them for a profit, trying to redeem himself in the eyes of his wife.
Hadi also starts to feel that he can do more and be more for the town, so when a seat opens up on the local council he decides to run for office. Parallel to this beats a slow, burning rage of the townspeople who have lost jobs, and have no hope of a better future.
The Locals offers a stark view of the effects of financial mismanagement and how it impacts blue-collar workers. It is a story that will stay with you for a long time.