The young pastor of a Southern church and a hospital volunteer, Lanier is hiding a dark history behind the mask of a model citizen. As a child, he unintentionally killed his sister. Obsessed with the belief that murder—a form of sacrifice—will allay his extreme guilt, Lanier has since killed three girls and now spends his nights watching young Sadie through her bedroom window. In this community of magnolia and crepe myrtle, four rich teenage boys who are absorbed in their own delinquency begin to unravel when they become entangled in the kudzu that is Lanier’s life. Motivated by desperation to absolve his past and a misguided interpretation of scripture, Lanier ultimately believes the only way to break free of his hopeless situation is to plunge further into sin. ALEX L. TAVARES was born in Tampa, Florida in 1981. He is the chair of the English Department at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa and has been a faculty member since 2005. He holds degrees in comparative literature and creative writing from Florida State University and Antioch University Los Angeles. His stories have been published in “Zinkville,” the National Council of Teachers of English’s “Gallery,” and “The Balustrade,” where he was awarded the featured author of 2011. This is his first novel.