Reviewed by Jennifer J.

The town of Morrissey looks pleasant and peaceful, but if one takes a closer look, shocking secrets are revealed. The local authorities are called in on more and more drug issues, even ones that involve middle school children.

Gwen Raine, mother of two young children, makes a poor decision that draws her deep into an effort to stop the trafficking of drugs in her hometown. Occasionally Gwen and her friends like to smoke a little marijuana to wind down at the end of the day. It doesn’t occur frequently enough that Gwen has a regular dealer, so she turns to her ex-lover Jude to sell her a small bag of weed with the promise of not revealing her source. Before she heads home, Gwen decides to smoke a joint. On the way to pick up her children, an elderly driver collides head-on with Gwen and the police officers on the scene discover her stash.

Although the accident is not Gwen’s fault, the police are on a mission to cleanse the city. To make matters worse for Gwen, the other driver in the accident dies and the daughter is threatening to sue. Eager to keep her name out of the media, Gwen bargains to reveal her supplier. Meanwhile, Jude is seeking to retire from dealing drugs, but his current customer has him in over his head.

[amazonify]0307716813[/amazonify]Stash by David Klein is an intimate portrayal of the lives of a drug dealer and an occasional user. I felt that the author remained neutral, and presented a very realistic look at what might happen to someone who gets caught up in the wrong situations at the wrong time. I really liked that Klein represented both illegal and legal drugs, showing that what the FDA deems fit for public use can also have harmful side effects just like street drugs.

Klein is exceptional at showing both the positive and negative qualities of people. Gwen was a really frustrating character; in the end, I didn’t feel like she learned anything from the ordeal she had just been through, and it seemed she was only remorseful that she had been caught. I did, however, accept that she was truly sorry for playing a part in a man’s death. Most people after experiencing just a terrifying mess would swear off their harmful behavior, but Gwen’s ultimate decision remained ambiguous. I went back and forth on what I thought about Jude. At times I truly loathed him, and at others I respected him as both a father and a successful restaurant owner.

Stash was a well-written novel, and showed that even the most innocent of poor decisions can have a devastating effect on our lives and the people we love.

Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Broadway. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.