cover image Deadman's Road

Deadman's Road

Joe R. Lansdale, Subterranean (, $40 (272p) ISBN 978-1-59606-330-3

Rev. Jebidiah Mercer rides through the haunted backwoods of post–Civil War Texas, battling werewolves and eldritch horrors in the name of his cruel and distant Old Testament God in five creepy, gory, and dark pulpy yarns by Southern horror author Lansdale (Bubba Ho-Tep). In "Dead in the West," Mercer fights zombies, a stereotypical "Indian curse," and his own damaged faith, a good bit of pulpy fun spun around a nougat of bitter religion. In "Deadman's Road," the mercenary preacher hunts down a ghoul on a haunted stretch of road; "The Dark Down There" pits him and a boisterous, sensual ex-cook against an army of kobolds; and in "The Crawling Sky" he tackles an eldritch monster. Mercer's talents can only be stretched so far, and the sour god-cursing, monster-hunting, and casual murder become tiresome. (Nov.)