"Philipp Meyer's compelling debut novel begins in Buell, Pennsylvania, a once-thriving steel town whose recent misfortunes are alluded to in the title. The story follows Isaac English and Billy Poe, two young men whose fates are altered forever by an unpremeditated act of violence. Tom Stechschulte's gritty delivery suits the setting well, and he adjusts his tone with surprising agility. The novel shifts between the points of view of several characters, including two women, and Stechschulte's subtle vocal changes reflect this technique effectively. He even does accents--including those of some African-American prisoners--which go just far enough, adding flavor to the narrative without slipping into caricature. D.B. (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine"