In the tradition of James Dickey’s Deliverance and Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain, bestselling author and award-winning poet James W. Hall has written a literary novel that is also an intricate, suspenseful mystery—a story blending the macabre and the historic, the genteel and the aberrant, the violent and the heroic. With his signature mix of brooding atmosphere and compelling action, Hall takes readers deep into America’s own Heart of Darkness.
Policewoman Charlotte Monroe has cop instincts. Scratch that. There isn’t a name for the gift she has, something that borders on psychic, an ability to read people’s faces and body language like the morning headlines—to size up their intentions and act before they do.
It’s a real ability that the FBI is trying to teach to its agents. The bureau is spending millions so they’ll know the difference between a slightly raised eyebrow and a faint twitch of the lip. But Charlotte’s a natural with god-given abilities, and the Feds want her in the worst way, maybe even to the point of blackmail.
Still, Charlotte’s gift fails to prepare her for the stranger who shows up on her doorstep with a chilling warning for her husband, a mysterious note scrawled in Cherokee hieroglyphics and a promise of things to come: “You’re Next.”
The warning becomes more ominous as Charlotte and her husband, Parker, discover the complex truth about this man, including his position on the FBI Most Wanted list and his connection to their family.
When Charlotte’s deeply troubled teenage daughter runs away to join the charismatic outlaw, she follows the two of them into the spectral mists of the Great Smoky Mountains—and to the beating heart of a 150-year-old blood feud that will endanger everything she loves and challenge everything she believes.