Part noir, part historical fiction, Copy Boy by Shelley Blanton-Stroud is a fast-paced, non-stop debut novel.
Jane has lived her life mostly on campsites or other makeshift homes with her abusive father and neglectful mother. Things change though when Jane’s father tries to beat her mother and Jane steps in to stop him. A crowbar and a ditch later, Jane finds herself in San Francisco at the doorstep of her mother’s lover’s daughter. Set on leaving the past behind her, Jane assumes the identity of Benjamin Hopper and determines to become a copy boy for a local newspaper.
Things get messy when a woman is murdered, and Jane’s father gets somehow pulled back onto the scene. Fighting to make a name for herself at a paper that doesn’t respect her as a man or a woman while also struggling to both leave behind and reconcile her past, Jane comes up against enemies both internal and external.
Copy Boy investigates issues of psychology, sexism, justice, and social welfare by means of a mystery and a thriller. While the reader is not always left with answers to the questions asked in the novel, Blanton-Stroud certainly sets the scene for the reader to challenge and examine the issues presented.
A quick and easy read, Copy Boy is slated for release from She Writes Press in June of 2020. You can preorder Copy Boy by Shelley Blanton-Stroud from your local independent bookstore.
FTC Disclaimer: This book was given to me in return for a fair and honest review of the text.