Author: Christopher Graves
Published on: April 5, 2018
Pages: 314 [paperback]
Thank you Lauren at Smith Publicity for sending me an advance readers copy!
The Bald Knobbers were a 19th century vigilante gang who followed and enforced a literal interpretation of the bible. They wore masks painted with horrifying faces and seemingly glowing orange eyes. The hood resembled horns, protruding several inches from the head.
“Everyone in the area knows of the brotherhood and their commitment to enforcing God’s will. And, even though the law forced the group to dissolve many years ago, most folks suspect some of the members still meet secretly, the some Knobbers are still alive and active.” pg. 30
Ekekial Woods, Zeke for short, is a direct descendant of the gang and honors their duty. By day, he is a grocery store bagger. By night, he tortures sinning women; to him, his nightly crusades are a series of baptisms. To say he is a religious extremist is an understatement.
“Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like.”
The story flips through a montage of his victims and their pasts, with a spotlight on one girl in particular, Dani.
- The story is certifiably action-packed. There is never a dull moment.
- The synopsis on the back of the book reveals too much of the story.
- The flashbacks of Zeke’s childhood and his abusive mother are not only interesting, but also help readers understand how his serial killing ways manifested.
- From glass coffins to hundreds of snakes, the story introduces every nightmare imaginable.
- The abductions and torture repulsively drag on. Dani’s abduction in particular drags on for the entire second half of the book. While thrilling, it was seemingly never ending (& not in a good way).
- While I am a huge fan of psychological thrillers, this one leaned toward the horror genre (not my personal favorite).
- Zeke is level 10 creepy and will keep you nauseously reading until the end.