I received a free copy of A Murder Country for my honest review.
About the Book:
The nineteenth century looms just a few years away, bringing with it the belief in progress and a new world. But for Josiah Fuller, William Corvin, and the Rider in the Appalachian backwoods and small towns of the late nineteenth century, there is nothing but a world where bloodshed is paid for in blood, and violence is the ultimate law of the land. When seventeen-year-old Josiah Fuller comes home to find his parents hanged and mutilated and the family house burned to the ground, he sets off to find the man responsible for their murders and avenge their deaths. His journey takes him through new towns and wildernesses he has not seen before. He meets people who show him the realities of living in a violent world, forcing Josiah to decide what is most important to him: vengeance or grace.
Years after running away from home as a young boy, William Corvin returns with his new bride to take over the family’s coal mining operation. Though he is haunted by the violence of his past, he sets out to live a peaceful life and start a family there. However, Corvin’s hopes of peace are challenged when a horrible act of violence causes him to revert back to the man he once was. After being visited by an angel in a dream years earlier, the Rider has become a man with violence in his blood, believing himself to be appointed by God to collect the souls of sinners. He travels around on his horse, killing whoever he feels is deserving of God’s wrath and vengeance. These three men move along their own individual paths, their stories intersecting with one another, continually searching for an understanding of the violent world in which they live and their own actions within that world. The novel examines the power and fragility of belief and conviction within humans, showing how one small act often leads to consequences that reach far beyond anyone’s imagining.
About the Author:
This was not an easy book to read. It is not long but it is very powerful. The writing is both spare and lyrical which is surprising but it worked in this tale of violence and vengeance.
It’s hard to share the story without spoiling the plot and the synopsis provides what you need to know. Once I started it I was drawn into the worlds of the characters – young Josiah, the Rider and William Corvin. The Rider being the most compelling and the most dark. As with most villains, all is not as it seems but he is one sick dude. Man is a creature of mistakes and forgiveness is necessary but some feel that simple forgiveness is not sufficient and more need be done. The Rider feels he is the Right Hand of God on Earth dispensing justice as he sees fit.
The story moves between the characters and this was a bit jarring but it did all make sense in the end. In a way I almost wished it were a longer tale because I think these three men had more of a story to tell. This was a very compelling, well written if dark novel and I will look forward to more from Mr. Daily.
You can read my review of The Valley