Caught by Lisa Moore piqued my curiosity: a novel featuring a drug smuggler, marijuana to be specific, recently escaped from prison and stupid enough to try it again. Last year I read a novel, Mules, a fictional account of the brutality within the drug trade, and I thought Caught might be something like that. Nope. Moore does a great job of writing about a common subject, but with an original voice and style that stands out in this particular sub-genre.
David Slaney, a 25 year old Canadian convicted of marijuana possession, busts out of his cell, evades the cops and tracks down his business partner, only to find himself attempting the same job he was arrested for in the first place. His character comes across as an intelligent guy, but he seems hellbent on making one bad decision after another. However, Slaney has some amazing luck ditching the authorities every time they get close to nabbing him again. The 1970s setting really captures the atmosphere surrounding this endeavor.
There's a heavy sadness that weighs over Slaney, living in his secret world with fake identities and relationships that fall apart as a result of his life choices. But, what really makes the main character fascinating is the tapestry of complications and emotional conflicts which eventually lead to a rather quiet, understated ending.
If you enjoy well-written fiction, simply for the pleasure of a solid story, I recommend taking a chance on Caught.