Award-winning author Olympia Vernon’s third novel, A Killing in This Town , is a taut, poetic masterpiece that exhumes a horrific epoch from the annals of the American South.
There is a menace in the woods of Bullock County, Mississippi, and not only for the black man destined to be lynched when a white boy comes of age. The white men who work at the Plant are in danger, too, but they refuse to heed Earl Thomas’s urgent message that the factory is slowly killing them; turning a deaf ear to the black pastor. Thomas knows he should try to deliver the message again, but he hears the blood of his murdered friend calling to him from the ground, and fears that he will be the next black man to be dragged to his death. Adam Pickens, a white boy now on the eve of his thirteenth birthday, isn’t sure he wants to wear the garb being readied for him by the Klan seamstress, or participate in the town’s ugly ritual. It is only when Gill Mendera man haunted by past sinsreturns that redemption seems possible. A transfixing and pivotal work of fiction, A Killing in This Town exposes the fragile hierarchy of a society poisoned by hatred, and shows the power of an individual to stand up to the demons of history and bring the cycle of violence to an end.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I absolutely loved the detailed picturistic artistry created by the writing of this novel. I could feel the emotional horrors and I could see each image as if I was standing present as a silent persona. I valued the courage of each ill-treated character, Curtis and Sonny Willows, Pastor Earl Thomas and the heroism of Emma New. In the face of evil it left me to wonder if I would have the desire to care for such people that harbored so much hatred without cause for a race. The becoming of manhood for the white boys of Bullock, Mississippi at the age of 13 was celebrated by taking the life of a black man in the most cowardly manner, how ironic. I can't help but feel that is was not what the Pauer Plant of Bullock, Mississippi produced that was killing them but it was their own in-grown ignorance and hate that poisoned their minds and bodies and prohibited them from finding the ultimate remedy--understanding and acceptance. The boys and men of Bullock, Mississippi where dead long before the Pauer Plant began to rot them physically. The power of oneself is difficult to master, more or less harness. Excellent job Olympia! This is a must read!