In The Valley of the Sun

Andy Davidson. Skyhorse, $24.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-5107-2110-4
In this bold, confident debut, Davidson takes the vampire myth to 1980s West Texas, perfectly capturing the feel of the era and place. Travis Stillwell is hardly a good man; he’s strangled multiple women with his belt. But when a vampire named Rue turns him and strands him in a motel parking lot, he resists killing the motel’s widowed owner, Annabelle, or her young son, Sandy. This frustrates Rue, who has wandered for decades before finding someone as violent as Travis and needs him to embrace his inner beast. Meanwhile, a Texas Ranger named Reader is hunting Travis down, unaware of the change he’s undergone. Davidson lets his story play out slowly, using multiple points of view and long flashbacks to explore the perspectives and histories of his various protagonists. The obligatory violence becomes an organic, inevitable result of the needs of the characters coming into conflict. Davidson successfully makes the lines between genre and literary fiction bleed together in a complex novel of horror, human nature, and the American South. Agent: Elizabeth Copps, Maria Carvainis Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2017
Release date: 06/06/2017
Library Binding - 602 pages - 978-1-4328-4482-0
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