Blue Hen Aug 2002, 23.95, 320 pp.
John Bonner now runs the family business John Bonner & Son Metal Shredders. Though John knows the ins and outs of the metal shredding industry and is quite capable of managing the operation, his divorce has left him shaken and on edge. His only source for guidance is his sister Octavia, but she is recovering from a broken relationship too.
When two workers find five thousand dollars stashed in one of the cars, John claims a finders keepers fee, but soon the money vanishes. Searching for the cash, John embroils himself and Octavia in a series of missteps and ultimately calamity as an employee dies. This returns John to square one wondering whether to sell the business, but has this additional albatross of the missing loot to deal with too.
THE METAL SHREDDERS is a different kind of tale that is at its strongest when dealing with the business and the industry that has made the headlines in light of the World Trade Center. John is the focus of the tale and he is fully developed so that the reader grasps his concerns and worries. The secondary cast, especially his sister and the blue-collar workers, propels the plot for forward while enhancing the understanding of John. When the story line twists into a sexually aggressive secondary character it loses some of the sting of a deep insightful look at a unique profession. Nancy Zafris has easily taken the leap from short story writer to novelist.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner