Fourth of July Creek
SHORTLISTED FOR THE JAMES TAIT BLACK PRIZE FOR FICTION
WINNER OF THE CWA JOHN CREASEY (NEW BLOOD) DAGGER (award for the best crime novel by a debut author)
A dark and powerful debut novel set in the hardscrabble American heartlands.
‘If I knew for a certain’ty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life…’
After trying to help Benjamin Pearl, an undernourished, nearly feral eleven-year-old boy living in the Montana wilderness, social worker Pete Snow comes face-to-face with the boy’s profoundly disturbed father, Jeremiah. With courage and caution, Pete slowly earns a measure of trust from this paranoid survivalist itching for a final conflict that will signal the coming End Times. But as Pete’s own family spins out of control, Jeremiah’s activities spark the full-blown interest of the FBI, putting Pete at the centre of a massive manhunt from which no one will emerge unscathed.
In this shattering and iconic novel, Smith Henderson explores the complexities of freedom, community, grace, suspicion and anarchy, brilliantly depicting America’s disquieting and violent contradictions. FOURTH OF JULY CREEK is an unforgettable, unflinching debut that marks the arrival of a major literary talent.
"This book left me awestruck; a stunning debut which reads like the work of a writer at the height of his power. Begins with the story of one struggling man and his family and soon seems to encompass and address all of modern America's problems. Fourth of July Creek is a masterful achievement and Smith Henderson is certain to end up a household name." -- Philipp Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of The Son "An impressive book - deeply so. [Cormac] McCarthy's shadow may loom heavy across the prose, but the story this prose conveys, and the manner in which Henderson unfurls it, bears its own unalloyed power ... It's Pearl's story, more than anything else, that lock this novel in your hands ... [A] trenchant and vigorously empathetic novel." * New York Times Book Review * "An intense, mesmerising book that uses this surprisingly intimate relationship to explore grand themes about American culture ... Devastating and inspiring." * The Economist * "Stunning debut novel ... that crackles and lurches with the intensity of a Tom Waits song. Here, at the beginning of his career, Henderson has come within shouting distance of writing a great American novel." * Guardian * "It's hard to believe that this is a first novel. Confidence verging on swagger leaks out of every page. It is a big fat all-American epic that has earned its place on airport bookshelves for many months to come...Think Cold Mountain but with more action...The conclusion has all the surprise of a great detective story. Henderson has created an instant classic." * Daily Mail *
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