Clyde Twitty could use a break, a helping hand. He’s a young man lost – in his finances, in his family – and stuck deep within the fast-settling muck of a dwindling rural Missouri town that has, in every way, given up hope. The hand that reaches down, pulls him up, and leads him forward is that of Jay Smalls, a fiercely charismatic patriarch, a man who exerts a kind of gravitational force and who breeds purpose in those who get caught in it. Un-rattled by the increasingly sinister racial undertones of Jay Smalls and his posse, and desperate to look forward and not down, for once in his life, Clyde hardly stumbles when the path he’s being ushered down takes a dark and irrevocable turn.
In this thrilling debut novel – equal parts satire and morality play – Harvkey shines a sharp light on the dark and radical underbelly of the floundering American Midwest. As he leads us down the violent spiral of a desperate youth, he explores with unflinching acuity the ugly nature of hate, the untempered force of personality, and the sometimes horrific power of having someone believe in you.