The Cunning Man

D.J. Butler and Aaron Michael Ritchey. Baen, $16 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-982124-16-8
An attempt at charity during the Great Depression turns into a protracted fight against supernatural forces in this admirable paranormal mystery from Butler (Witchy Kingdom) and Ritchey (Inferno Girls). In 1935 Utah, rumors of a malignant spirit in the Kimball coal mine cause work to grind to a halt. As the three Kimball siblings squabble over how to run their business and the various ethnic groups who work the mine turn against each other, Mormon beet farmer Hiram Woolley seizes the opportunity to help by using his folk magic skills to investigate the spirit. During his research, Hiram meets Mary McGill, a fearless labor organizer trying to unionize the miners, and Gus Dollar, a local general store owner and fellow “cunning man.” When Hiram discovers that Gus is hexing him to stifle the investigation, he realized he may be up against a far more dangerous evil than he knew. Though some story elements resolve too quickly, the richly imagined magic system and glimpses of Mormon culture create a fully realized world. Historical fantasy fans will delight in the zigzagging plot of this mystery. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/11/2019
Release date: 11/05/2019
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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