Deep in the heart of Appalachia stands a crooked farmhouse miles from any road. Read more...
Deep in the heart of Appalachia stands a crooked farmhouse miles from any road. The Morrows keep to themselves, and it's served them well so far. When girls go missing off the side of the highway, the cops don't knock on their door. Which is a good thing, seeing as to what's buried in the Morrows' backyard.
But nineteen-year-old Michael Morrow isn't like the rest of his family. He doesn't take pleasure in the screams that echo through the trees. Michael pines for normalcy, and he's sure that someday he'll see the world beyond West Virginia. When he meets Alice, a pretty girl working at a record shop in the small nearby town of Dahlia, he's immediately smitten. For a moment, he nearly forgets about the monster he's become. But his brother, Rebel, is all too eager to remind Michael of his place...
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-08-31
- Reviewer: Staff
Ahlborn (Within These Walls) paints a grim portrait of a murderous family circa 1980 in this visceral, nihilistic thriller. Nineteen-year-old Michael Morrow lives in rural West Virginia with his parents, Wade and Claudine, and his siblings, Reb and Misty Dawn. Michael wants nothing to do with his family’s psychotic hobby of murdering transient young women, but is literally left to pick up the pieces after their gruesome escapades. When Michael meets Alice at a local record store, he’s smitten, but also desperate to keep her away from his family’s extracurricular activities; unfortunately, psychotic, unpredictable Reb has other ideas. Comparisons to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre are inevitable, but Ahlborn’s impressive writing and expert exploration of the psychological effects of systemic abuse elevate what could have been the literary equivalent of a slasher flick, and the twist in the final act is jaw-dropping. This relentlessly grim tale is most definitely not for the squeamish, but it’s nearly impossible to put down. Agent: David Hale Smith, Inkwell Management. (Oct.)