Ellory’s gritty yet lyrical prose takes readers on a tour of the South of the ‘60s, dredging up the dark times, texture and feel of a period in the country’s history that was marked by dramatic changes. A man is plunged into self-awareness, then embroiled in a conspiracy that could cost him his life. Throughout, the narrator strays between reminiscences, both dark and sweet, in a voice that stays consistently direct and natural.
Daniel Ford, accused of the horrifying murder of his best friend Nathan, has run out of options after 12 years and waits through the last 30 days of his life before facing the long walk to the electric chair. Keeping him company is the vaguely mysterious Father John Rousseau. Rousseau encourages Daniel to talk about that period of time so long ago, when he first met Nathan nearly 30 years before, the tumultuous days of the 1960s and their flight from being drafted, which culminated in Nathan’s death. (OVERLOOK, Apr., 352 pp., $25.95)