cover image Tinfoil Butterfly

Tinfoil Butterfly

Rachel Eve Moulton. MCD, $15 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-374-53830-9

Unrelenting and artfully crafted, this haunting debut and its tortured protagonist easily cement Moulton as a must-read writer in the horror genre. Running from addiction and the tragic death of her stepbrother, Emma hitchhikes to the Black Hills with Lowell, a man in search of his ex and their child. When Lowell attempts to kidnap her, Emma robs him of his gun and van, leaving him with a bullet wound alone in the middle of the Badlands with the threat of snow. Soon out of gas, Emma finds herself stranded in a mostly abandoned community; its primary resident is a little boy named Earl who wears a tinfoil mask over his scarred face. Earl, in immediate danger after poisoning his violent father, refuses to help her until she finishes off his abuser. As the pair conspire to escape, the purity of Emma and Earl’s relationship stands in stark contrast to their isolated setting and the darkness of their traumas. Readers will be heartsick at the thought that either one might not survive. The narrative, both disturbing and irresistible, is propelled by these two well-imagined characters and their need for each other. This is a gripping tale of terribly human horrors. (Sept.)