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Dogs of God

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Dogs of God

Current Status:
In Season
Pinckney Benedict

We gave it an A-

Dogs of God

Pinckney Benedict (Doubleday)

This first novel, set in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia, bristles with a truth and an evil all its own. An intricate web of crossed paths and crossed purposes, the book tells the story of Tannhauser, a psychotic backwoodsman-turned-drug lord, and the assorted federal agents, farmers, corrupt lawmen, arms traders, and locals who enter, purposely or not, into his orbit. Especially there is Goody, a young man renting a farmhouse left empty due to a long-ago murder, the seeming good angel of the novel. Except in this universe there are no angels, and no one is innocent. As the narrative builds to an inevitable (but still surprising) climax, these random people are drawn together in a terrifying confluence of time and place. Although the author is not yet 30, he has created something of haunting power and realism; the malevolence in these characters, recognizable in oneself, will linger on. A-