Blackwood

by Michael Farris Smith
Release date: March 3, 2020
Type: other fiction
Genres: mainstream, mystery

When Colburn, a junkyard sculptor in rural Mississippi, traces the disappearance of local twin boys into a mysterious thicket of kudzu, he discovers that a painful truth about his family lies hidden in the vines.

The town of Red Bluff, Mississippi, has seen better days, though those who've held on have little memory of when that was. Myer, the county's aged, sardonic lawman, still thinks it can prove itself - when confronted by a strange family of drifters, the sheriff believes that the people of Red Bluff can be accepting, rational, even good.

The opposite is true: this is a landscape of fear and ghosts, of regret and violence. It is a landscape literally transformed by the kudzu vines that have enveloped the hills around it, swallowing homes, cars, rivers, and hiding a terrible secret deeper still.

Colburn, an artist who's returned to Red Bluff, knows this pain all too well, though he too is willing to hope for more when he meets and falls in love with the local bar owner Celia. The Deep South gives these noble, broken, and driven folks the gifts of human connection while bestowing upon them the crippling weight of generations. The vagabonds represent the vagabond hearts of the townsfolk themselves; the evil in the woods, the wickedness that lurks in each and every one of us.

Blackwood is a timeless, mythical, spiritual tale of love and harm, of unforgiving justice and elusive grace.

(updated 2019-10-04)

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