It's 1832 and Coll Coyle has killed the wrong man. The dead man's father is an expert tracker and ruthless killer with a single-minded focus on vengeance. Read more...
It's 1832 and Coll Coyle has killed the wrong man. The dead man's father is an expert tracker and ruthless killer with a single-minded focus on vengeance. The hunt leads from the windswept bogs of County Donegal, across the Atlantic to the choleric work camps of the Pennsylvania railroad, where both men will find their fates in the hardship and rough country of the fledgling United States.
Language and landscape combine powerfully in this tense exploration of life and death, parts of which are based on historical events. With lyrical prose balancing the stark realities of the hunter and the hunted, RED SKY IN MORNING is a visceral and meditative novel that marks the debut of a stunning new talent.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-07-08
- Reviewer: Staff
The plot line of this rewarding debut has the feel of a classic American western: in 1832, Coll Coyle kills a powerful local landowner, then flees in fear of frontier justice at the hands of the landlord’s sadistic henchman, John Faller. But Lynch, an Irish writer living in Dublin, has set his story not west of the Mississippi, but in the west of Ireland (a rural area in County Donegal). Coyle leaves his wife and daughter behind and eventually strikes out for America, Faller hot on his heels. Coyle’s sick with fever (pneumonia, or possibly consumption) and endures a frightening, brutal transatlantic passage, but eventually lands in Philadelphia, where he joins other immigrants as laborers on “a new kind of engineering. A locomotive line.” This grim story gets grimmer: his co-workers are dying of cholera, and Faller tracks Coyle down in America as this very literary book moves toward its violent climax. Lynch’s prose is sharply observed, and his themes are elemental and powerful: the violence of existence, the illusion of choice in a fatalistic universe. People, says Faller, “are animals, brutes, blind and stupid.” (Sept. 5)