cover image Bethany’s Sin

Bethany’s Sin

Robert McCammon. Subterranean (, $75 (386p) ISBN 978-1-59606-497-3

McCammon explores the secret geography of nightmare in this creepy, densely layered tale of ancient pagan practices re-enacted in smalltown America. Scarred Vietnam veteran Evan Reid relocates with his wife and daughter to the Pennsylvania village of Bethany’s Sin, where he seeks freedom from terrifying dreams and guilt. Instead he discovers a deadly underworld of ancient pagan practices and malevolent female rage. Why do so many people vanish in the night, and what role does community leader Dr. Kathryn Drago play? Nocturnal hoofbeats, deadly spirits, and tragic disappearances herald terror for the Reid family in this modern myth of sin, sacrifice, and family. Themes of gender warfare (surprisingly undated given the book’s original publication in 1980) and religious ecstasy are embodied in everyday trials of domestic relationships and careers. Vivid and sympathetic characters struggle through a complex web of occult mystery and terror, reaching a startling climax. (Oct.)