Ken Burger’s novel, Salkehatchie Soup, doesn’t disappoint. As in his previous tales (Swallow Savannah and Sister Santee), the cast of characters includes the powerful and the pitiful, both working through the options life presents them.

In his usual no-holds-barred style, Burger’s tale of the Adger family continues from cushy golf resorts to a one-hole golf course in the middle of nowhere. Along the way, even small, seemingly private lives are caught up in the politics, crime, and intrigue of Washington, Manhattan, and Miami.

In Burger’s mangy imagination, political bargains made in the cloakrooms of Congress impact both those who have fallen from grace and those who urgently seek it.

In his first novel, Swallow Savannah, Burger wrote about the collision of the Cold War and Civil Rights in the area around the Savannah River Site where plutonium for atomic weapons was produced in the 1950s and ’60s.  In Sister Santee, he spun an all-too- believable yarn about the pine plantations and racial uneasiness in the 1970s and ’80s. With Salkehatchie Soup, Burger returned to his birthplace to expose the remains of 50 years of nuclear waste buried in our beautiful state.

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