Bonnie & Clyde: Dam Nation
by Clark Hays & Kathleen McFall
In this second installment of Hays & McFall’s Bonnie & Clyde series, the dynamic duo find themselves in Boulder City, Nevada at the site of the Hoover Dam (then styled Boulder Dam), with orders from the ever persistent government official, Sal, to discover the source of apparent sabotage to the enormous structure. The budding labor union, foreign anarchists, supposed communists, and the Las Vegas-based mob are all on the long list of suspects, and in order to ingratiate themselves into the inner workings of the community, “Clarence” and “Brenda” must do the unthinkable: hold down good, honest jobs as a cover for their spy ring. Meanwhile, Bonnie Parker’s parallel story in 1984 continues with journalist Royce Jenkins digging up information for the spunky old lady, sending him across the country with two suited men on his trail.
This story offers a fair take on the construction of the historic landmark, and the city that grew up around it, built specifically to house the 5,000 workers on site. The business behind the project, Six Companies, Inc., is described, along with the government’s stake in the endeavor. It is an intriguing what-if on a Depression Era subject that will inspire readers to do further research, even if only for photos.
The characters of Bonnie and Clyde in Dam Nation are much more endearing than their depiction in Resurrection Road; it is obvious that they’re in repentance mode. Their laugh-out-loud banter and heart-warming antics make this a fast-paced and pleasant read. Expect another book on the horizon, as loose ends have been left once again.