Dear reader, life is too short for crap books.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Two Words: Vigilante Justice

Hell At the Breech by Tom Franklin

One night, Arch Bedsole, an aspiring politician from a tract of Alabama wasteland known as Mitcham Beat is gunned down. His cousin, Tooch, claims that with his last breath, Arch said the murder was committed by "folks from town." To avenge his cousin, Tooch rounds up a posse of men from the Beat, forcing them to sign an alliance in blood. Those who don't are lynched. Those who do are quickly whipped into a frenzy of greed and blood lust, more deadly than Clarke County's drunken, aging local sheriff can manage.

Franklin's novel is loosely based on true events, and his details of poor sharecropper life in the post-Reconstruction South are grisly and unforgettable. Life is cheap, murder is easy, and even the good guys don't come out clean in this gripping story of violence and mob mentality.

If you liked...: Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! or the Drive-By Trucker's backwoods feud song "Decoration Day," this book is for you.

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