TMW Book Reviews

Review – Citizen Trudy and the Crackdown


Lindsey Brook

In “Citizen Trudy and the Crackdown,” Lindsey Brook crafts an engaging narrative that deftly weaves together themes of family, addiction, and societal breakdown against the backdrop of the late 20th century. The story begins with the Henson family grappling with the aftermath of Jack Henson’s sudden death, which sends Sally, the matriarch, into a spiral of alcoholism and grief. Her daughters, Jennie and Chayse, each battle their own demons, with Jennie facing the dual blow of a divorce and a mastectomy, and Chayse striving for independence amidst family chaos.

Brook does not shy away from the gritty realities of addiction, as Jennie’s struggle with cocaine and the family’s entanglement with a therapist who blurs professional boundaries highlight the complexities of seeking stability in turbulent times. The narrative expands beyond the Henson household to encompass Jake Stanton, a reporter with a penchant for truth amid a sea of biased journalism, and a glimpse into the lives of those entangled in the drug trade and law enforcement in Apple Valley.

What stands out in Brook’s novel is not just the personal turmoil of the characters but also the larger commentary on the societal ills of the period, from the crack epidemic to the challenges of policing and the quest for personal redemption. The novel is rich in detail and character development, offering a panoramic view of a community and a family trying to find their footing in a rapidly changing world.

Brook’s writing is both compassionate and unflinching, presenting a tapestry of lives intersected by tragedy, resilience, and the quest for healing. “Citizen Trudy and the Crackdown” is a poignant exploration of the human condition, marked by its depth of insight and the deft interplay between the personal and the societal. It is a compelling read that captures the complexities of American life at the turn of the decade, making it a valuable addition to the conversation about addiction, family dynamics, and the enduring strength of the human spirit.

– The Moving Words Review

Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 3, 2025