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Thursday, February 08, 2018

Promising Mystery Series Opener Convinces Me to Read More

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Earl Marcus left Coulee County, Georgia, twenty years ago with no intention of ever going back.  Scarred—both physically and emotionally—from growing up in the snake-handling obsessed Church of the Holy Flame, he's cut ties with the "church," his cult leader father, and his haunted past.  Now a private investigator in North Carolina, he's compelled to return only when a photograph of his dead father surfaces with a recent time stamp.  The man in the picture is no corpse.  It appears as if the powerful, legendary R.J. Marcus is still alive.  Either that or, as his followers believe, he's come back from the dead.  Earl has experienced the mystical power of his father's presence enough to believe almost anything.  Thing is, he can't put his own demons to rest until he knows for sure.

R.J. isn't the only person missing in Coulee County.  "Rebellious" teenage girls from the Church of the Holy Flame's congregation are also disappearing, only to return changed.  The strange marks on their skin could be signs of almost anything.  Hoping to find answers before another girl is traumatized, Earl starts digging.  Unearthing old secrets doesn't sit well with some people and Earl finds himself in danger once again.

Heaven's Crooked Finger by Hank Early is a debut novel and the first in a promising series.  The novel tells a tense, compelling story that's both atmospheric and suspenseful.  Although the tale feels a bit flimsy and far-fetched, it's still engrossing.  In the end, I didn't love Heaven's Crooked Finger, but I liked it enough to continue with the series.  

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language, violence, sexual content, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

3 comments:

  1. Honestly, I'm intrigued and a little repelled by stories that include churches with snake handling. Can't even imagine really. I've already got this one on my list though because the idea is interesting. I'll give it a shot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too! I don't know why -- I just find cults and fundamentalist-type churches super fascinating. I'm always drawn to books about them. Some are better than others, of course, but I liked this one overall.

      Delete
  2. I bet he gets better with each book.

    ReplyDelete

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