Brandon Daily - A Murder Country: A Novel

Sunday, October 5, 2014

50. A Murder Country: A Novel by Brandon Daily (2014)
Length: 192 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started: 4 September 2014
Finished: 5 October 2014
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Brandon Daily for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 21 June 2013
Why do I have it? I like historical fiction and Brandon Daily is a new author for me.

As the late eighteenth century slowly draws to a close, and ushers in the start of the nineteenth century brimming with a belief in progress and hopeful of the possibility of a bright brand new world, many small towns in the Appalachian backwoods still dwell in a violent and harsh reality. For three men touched by such violence - Josiah Fuller, William Corvin and a person known only as 'The Rider' - there is nothing else in the world beyond bloodshed and brutality, where exacting punishment for innocent blood spilled and violence is the ultimate law of the land.

When seventeen-year-old Josiah Fuller returns home to find his parents hanged and mutilated and the family house burned to the ground, he sets off to find the man responsible for their murders and is determined to avenge their deaths. His journey takes him through new towns and stretches of wilderness he has never seen before. He meets people who show him the realities of living in a violent world, forcing Josiah to decide what is most important to him: vengeance or grace.

Years after running away as a young boy, William Corvin returns home with his new bride to take up the reigns of the family's coal mining operation. Though he is haunted by violent memories of his past, he sets out to live a peaceful life and hopes to raise his family there someday. However, William's dreams of peace are shattered, and his hopes of living a life of happiness and contentment are threatened when a shocking act of violence causes him to revert back to the man he once was. 

After being visited by an angel in a dream many years earlier, the Rider has become a man with violence in his blood; a man to be truly feared by those who cross his path. The Rider believes himself to be appointed by God to collect the souls of sinners - an instrument of God's divine justice. He travels around on his horse, killing whoever he feels is deserving of God's wrath and vengeance.

These three men travel alone along their own individual paths, their stories intersecting with one another, each man continually searching for an understanding of the violent world in which they live and their own actions within that world. This novel examines the power and fragility of belief and conviction within humanity; showing how one small, seemingly insignificant act often leads to consequences that reach far beyond anyone's imagining.

I must say that while I certainly enjoyed this book very much; it is definitely not a story for the faint of heart. I found it to be a very well-written and descriptive story; with a violence and a grittiness that was evocative of the 'western genre' - in my opinion at least. I give A Murder Country: A Novel by Brandon Daily an A! It was an intriguing debut novel, and I will certainly be keeping my eyes open for more from this author in the future.

A! - (90-95%)
May you read well and often