Spencer and Galen are dragged by their mom and their new “dad figure” to the swamplands of Florida, thrust into a new school system, patronized, bullied, starved for love. Like many white teens they turn to death metal to keep them alive and suspicious, and in this cliquey, smug, Christian village, already half rotting from the heat and the damp, there’s plenty of bad a-brew. One day Galen wakes up and his older, beloved brother has gone missing—and it’s like nobody really cares. Like most American novels of noir, Beneath the Remains is laid in a world without rules. Imagine yourself a kid in that world—or is this how most kids grow up today, in a shimmer of danger, magnified by mass ignorance?
Terence Hannum is a master story-teller with a slow beady eye, focused on human and earthbound evil, and this, his first novel, will keep you awake all night long in the grip of some uncanny power. Way I see it, Beneath the Remains has got to be the book of the year. - Kevin Killian