cover image The People of the Broken Neck

The People of the Broken Neck

Silas Dent Zobal. Unbridled, $16.95 ISBN 978-1-60953-135-5

Zobal follows 2015’s The Inconvenience of the Wings, a short story collection, with a tour de force of a debut novel, which blends elements of mainstream thriller, noir fiction, preternatural mystery, and travelogue. Dominick Sawyer, a former Army Ranger and veteran of the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars, returns to his family in rural Pennsylvania a changed man, plagued by post-traumatic hallucinations. When his wife disappears, Sawyer goes on the run with his kids—15-year-old Clarke and 11-year-old Kingsley—in a desperate attempt to somehow keep the family together. Veteran FBI agent Charlie Basin is tasked with apprehending the dangerous fugitive, who’s wanted for the shooting death of a Pennsylvania sheriff, but his mission becomes complicated when Basin, the father of two, begins understanding the war hero’s motives and identifying with his plight. Powered by rich imagery, darkly lyrical prose, and a deeply philosophical undertone, this novel explores the nature of family—particularly when those familial bonds begin breaking—with profoundly moving conclusions. [em](Oct.) [/em]