cover image Son of Perdition

Son of Perdition

William Harms. Leviathan, $14.95 trade paper (216p) ISBN 978-0-692-18456-1

Harms’s grim, gut-wrenching, and supernatural-tinged tale of revenge (after Impaler) traverses the post–Civil War South. Union soldier Samuel Glazer is hunting down a group of savage Confederate men who wreaked havoc on civilians and murdered his wife and son. Harms’s snarling antihero targets the innocent families of the Confederate perpetrators, bent on making them feel his pain. After the funeral for the wife and son of Harold Camp in Whitwell, Tenn., who were massacred by Glazer, town thug Oliver Hansford forces blacksmith and former sheriff Lee Sinclair, his tenant, into joining reprobate brothers Eli and Bobby to hunt down Glazer. When Lee returned from the war, he promised his wife, Kate, his days of killing were over; as the manhunt for Glazer trails through Georgia and Alabama, the brothers’ brutality shocks Lee. Meanwhile, Harms unfolds Hansford’s real reason to get Lee out of town, as he tries to seduce Kate. While a supernatural revelation about Glazer’s true nature emerges near the end with few clues to support it, Harms’s striking descriptions of burnt houses, decayed farms, looting, and sexual violence evoke the war’s lingering effect in its aftermath. “This is the only way we understand,” Glazer laments. Harms’s morally ambiguous characters will challenge readers in this disturbing cat-and-mouse adventure. (Self-published)