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This Appalachian tale of accidental murder and vigilante justice would do Cormac McCarthy proud.
You may be wondering why we didn’t classify this book as a thriller. We could’ve used the umbrella term, but isn’t “Appalachian noir” so much better? It’s a label that author David Joy sometimes uses to characterize his writing, which is often about ordinary, hard-working people in shady, dire situations. Think smoking guns and shadowy outlaws, but in the backcountry. I mean, how can you not want ...
When Darl Moody went hunting after a monster buck he’s chased for years, he never expected he’d accidentally shoot a man digging ginseng. Worse yet, he’s killed a Brewer, a family notorious for vengeance and violence. With nowhere to turn, Darl calls on the help of the only man he knows will answer—his best friend, Calvin Hooper. But when Dwayne Brewer comes looking for his missing brother and stu...
Get an early look from the first pages of David Joy's The Line That Held Us.Read a sample →
Darl Moody didn't give a wet sack of shit what the state considered poaching. Way he figured, anybody who'd whittle a rifle season down to two weeks and not allot for a single doe day didn't care whether a man starved to death. Meat in the freezer was meat that didn't have to be bought and paid for, and that came to mean a lot when the work petered off each winter. So even though it was almost two months early, he was going hunting.
The buck Darl'd seen crossing from the Buchanan farm into Coon Coward's woods for the past two years had a rocking chair on his head and a neck thick as a tree trunk. Coon wouldn't let a man set foot on his land on account of the ginseng hidden there, but Coon was out of town. The old man had gone to the flatland to bury his sister and wouldn't be back for a week.
The cove was full of sign: rubs that stripped bark off maples and birch, scrapes all over the ground where button bucks scratched soil with something instinctual telling them to do so but lacking any rhyme or reason. A mature buck knew exactly what he was doing when he ripped at the ground like he was hoeing a line with his hooves, but the young ones ran around wild. They'd scrape all over the place, trying to add to a conversation they were too inexperienced to understand.