Never Divided by Todd Stadtman

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In Never Divided, the third and final book in Todd Stadtman’s San Francisco Punk series, Scott and friends butt heads with the police again – this time from the inside.  

In the previous two books, Please Don’t be Waiting for Me and So Good It’s Bad, the punk friends sought justice for the murder of follow rocker, Nadya.  In this finale to the trilogy, the crew takes part in a 1984 protest against Reagan and the Democrats’ ineffectiveness against him. Given Scott’s record, the Feds think Scott and crew might be up to worse than mere protesting.  They accuse his roommate, Micah, of killing an officer during the event. But the police might need the punks’ help against their own: a gang of nefarious policeman inside the SFPD.

The novel begins with a domestic scene: Scott and girlfriend, Bridge, meet Scott’s dad’s new girlfriend and her son, Hunter.  Little do they know, Hunter will become part of an adventure Scott and Bridge never intend to have, involving bar fights, sting operations, and kidnappings.  They thought they were done with this! The book flirts with settling down into adulthood. Yet, Scott never compromises his punk spirit. If there’s injustice afoot, Scott will face it, along with his pals.

New characters in the series, Hunter, and Micah’s girlfriend, Shiva, add ripples to the plot.  Scott and Bridge feel parental toward young Hunter – new feelings for them both. Shiva’s mysterious past makes her suspect to all the friends.  She must prove herself time and again. Reed, aka Inspector Serious, returns, with a humorous twist. These fresh relationships add depth and complexity to the high energy. 

Like the other two books in the series, this one is full of vivid, action-packed scenes.  The chapters are short, each focusing on one scene. Sub-plots are woven into a thick fabric of intrigue.  Sentences are robust, like the layered sound of a punk band. Most chapters end with a cliffhanger, making it hard to stop reading.  Love for San Francisco is palpable. Hot spots around the city enliven the narrative.

A coming of age story and crime thriller, the mature characters in Never Divided are also never diluted. Find it on Amazon

Author: marilivtollefson

I teach and play violin when not reading and reviewing books. Thanks to indie authors for opening my world and sharing theirs! Find my reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Kobo, Midwest Book Review and BookPage, among others.

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