Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight Against the Drug Companies that Delivered the Opioid Epidemic Audiobook, by Eric Eyre Play Audiobook Sample

Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight Against the Drug Companies that Delivered the Opioid Epidemic Audiobook

Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight Against the Drug Companies that Delivered the Opioid Epidemic Audiobook, by Eric Eyre Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Michael David Axtell Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 5.33 hours at 1.5x Speed 4.00 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: March 2020 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781797104683

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

24:22 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

04 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

13:11 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Publisher Description

From a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter from the smallest newspaper ever to win the prize in the investigative reporting category, an urgent, riveting, and heartbreaking investigation into the corporate greed that pumped millions of pain pills into small Appalachian towns, decimating communities.

Death in Mud Lick is the story of a pharmacy in Kermit, West Virginia, that distributed 12 million opioid pain pills in three years to a town with a population of 382 people—and of one woman, desperate for justice, after losing her brother to overdose. Debbie Preece’s fight for accountability for her brother’s death took her well beyond the Sav-Rite Pharmacy in coal country, ultimately leading to three of the biggest drug wholesalers in the country. She was joined by a crusading lawyer and by local journalist, Eric Eyre, who uncovered a massive opioid pill-dumping scandal that shook the foundation of America’s largest drug companies—and won him a Pulitzer Prize.

Part Erin Brockovich, part Spotlight, Death in Mud Lick details the clandestine meetings with whistleblowers; a court fight to unseal filings that the drug distributors tried to keep hidden, a push to secure the DEA pill-shipment data, and the fallout after Eyre’s local paper, the Gazette-Mail, the smallest newspaper ever to win a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting, broke the story.

Eyre follows the opioid shipments into individual counties, pharmacies, and homes in West Virginia and explains how thousands of Appalachians got hooked on prescription drugs—resulting in the highest overdose rates in the country. But despite the tragedy, there is also hope as citizens banded together to create positive change—and won. A work of deep reporting and personal conviction, Eric Eyre’s intimate portrayal of a national public health crisis illuminates the shocking pattern of corporate greed and its repercussions for the citizens of West Virginia—and the nation—to this day.

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“At a time when real journalism is under attack, Death in Mud Lick stands as a clenched fist of rebuke. Eyre and the scrappy Charleston Gazette-Mail exposed the hellacious mendacity and moral criminality of America’s biggest businesses and richest executives, and the hack politicians and lobbyists who enabled them to exploit some the most vulnerable people in this country and then leave them to die. Eyre’s book is a thrilling recounting of how it all went down in the tradition of Call Northside 777 and Spotlight."

— Brian Alexander, author of Glass Hous 


  • “Eric Eyre represents the absolute best of newspaper reporting…In the most opioid-ravaged place in America, Eyre makes you see the opioid crisis anew.”

    — Beth Macy, New York Times bestselling author
  • “A riveting drama of crime, collusion, cover-up…Death in Mud Lick attaches names, stories, and vivid characters to the major public-health story of our times.”

    — James Fallows, New York Times bestselling author
  • “Packed with colorful details and startling statistics, this page-turning journalistic thriller shines a brilliant spotlight on a national tragedy.”

    — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • “This is an infuriating story, compellingly told, and adds another layer to the reporting of the opioid crisis laid out in Beth Macy’s Dopesick. It is also a tale of compassionate people deeply wronged and a dogged journalist who won’t stand for it.”

    — Booklist (starred review)
  • “Timely and well documented, with appeal to a broad range of readers.”

    — Library Journal (starred review)


  • A Houston Chronicle Pick of Most Anticipated Books of 2020

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About Michael David Axtell

Michael David Axtell is a voice talent and audiobook narrator.