From critically acclaimed author David Joy comes a remarkable novel about the cover-up of an accidental death, and the dark consequences that reverberate through the lives of four people who will never be the same again.
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 stumbles onto a blood trail leading straight back to Darl and Calvin, a nightmare of revenge rips apart their world. The Line That Held Us is a story of friendship and family, a tale balanced between destruction and redemption, where the only hope is to hold on tight, clenching to those you love. What will you do for the people who mean the most, and what will you grasp to when all that you have is gone? The only certainty in a place so shredded is that no one will get away unscathed.
Joy (Where All Light Tends to Go) pulls no punches in this stark and violent examination of sacrifice and suffering. After Darl Moody accidentally shoots and kills Carol "Sissy" Brewer while hunting, he enlists his best friend, Calvin Hooper, to help hide the body, as he fears the retaliation of Sissy's savage, hulking brother, Dwayne. Rightfully so, it turns out, as Dwayne sets out for savage revenge after he can't find his brother and comes across blood traces in an area where he normally digs for ginseng. Instead of focusing on salt-of-the-earth Darl, Calvin, and Calvin's girlfriend, Angie, who form a pact to cover up the crime, the narrative centers on Dwayne; his fixation on maniacal justice as he hunts down and exacts revenge is terrifying yet complicated through haunting glimpses of his abusive childhood and dedication to his family. The eerie presence of Sissy's dead body throughout the novel, meanwhile, compounds the paranoia that builds alongside Dwayne's and Calvin's troubled ruminations, culminating by the end in the powerful possibility of collective redemption. Fans of Frank Bill and Cormac McCarthy will enjoy this gritty thriller.
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Southern noir at its best
Joy is a gifted writer who has the ability to really make you connect with and feel for his characters. You find yourself questioning who the bad guy truly is in this book. What it really boils down to is love and loyalty on both sides of the conflict. Great book, great writer.