Conversations Magazine, March/April 2024

Conversations Magazine, March/April 2024

Saturday, November 3, 2012

REVIEW: "Last Chance Texaco" by Joe Lee

 After running a 10K race in his hometown of Oakdale, Mississippi, Chris Brantley decides to stop at a convenience store for a soft drink before heading home to Rankin County. Doing so turns his life upside down. Loyal to his wife, Angie, but trapped in a loveless marriage, Chris is smitten when he runs into old flame Lisa Crosby. And Lisa has feelings for Chris, too. They begin corresponding almost daily, and he thinks every day about making her part of his life. But Lisa has a rich, possessive, hulking ex-husband named Ed Youngblood who can not let go. Lisa is so frightened of his wrath that when her biological daughter, Dorothy King, contacts her out of the blue and wants to get to know her birth mom, she s long as Ed never finds out Dorothy is not his child. Dorothy does learn, however, that Chris Brantley is her father, and reaches out to him after Lisa is killed in a car accident. And when Chris and Dorothy (who bond immediately) compare notes on the death of Lisa, it is clear this was more than just a tragic crash. It does not take them long to learn that Ed Youngblood, though not directly responsible, did have a role. And Youngblood, once he learns of Chris and his attempts to get both the Oakdale PD and the local TV station to look closely at him, orders an employee to take Chris off the board. Taken at breakneck speed, Last Chance Texaco is a classic Southern thriller loaded with twists, turns, and unforgettable characters both good and evil which populate the tiny town of seemingly-serene Oakdale. Both bittersweet and heartwarming, it is a story that will get under your skin and stay there.

 Conversations Book Club's Review of LAST CHANCE TEXACO
Ever since I was first introduced to the work of Joe Lee I have been a fan, but one thing that I have come to expect is that the next book will give you a little more than the last one. LAST CHANCE TEXACO is no different.

In the new book Lee allows the reader to get to know not only the complicated life of Chris Brantley but how the events around us have a way of changing everything we think we know about others and even ourselves. When he is reunited with a past love (Lisa Crosby) it brings back some of the joy he seems to have lost in his life, but like his own story things are not as they appear, and he soon finds that life as he knows it is about to change forever.

This is one of those books that if you take out the setting can fit individuals we know regardless of where we live. What a pleasure it is, however,to have not only the story be set in Mississippi but the author of the great read be of the state as well. It shows that when it comes to great storytelling it's not about where you're from what the talent that you have. Joe Lee has that talent and he uses it to create a literary feast consisting of family, social issues and murder that is sure to satisfy any avid reader no matter where they might live. LAST CHANCE TEXACO is another job well done for the author.

Find out more about Joe Lee and Dogwood Press at


  1. Looking to connect with Joe Lee. He writes about Oakdale, MS. I want to know if this is a real place. I find it in census records but not on the internet as a current town. As I contintue to search my roots, I would love to know about Oakdale, real or fake?

    1. Hello, Phyllis. Here is Joe's information: