Crimes in Southern Indiana is the most blistering, vivid, flat-out fearless debut to plow into American literature in recent years. Frank Bill delivers what is both a wake-up call and a gut punch. Welcome to heartland America circa right about now, when the union jobs and family farms that kept the white on the picket fences have given way to meth labs, backwoods gunrunners, and bare-knuckle brawling.
Bill's people are pressed to the brink—and beyond. There is Scoot McCutchen, whose beloved wife falls terminally ill, leaving him with nothing to live for—which doesn't quite explain why he brutally murders her and her doctor and flees, or why, after years of running, he decides to turn himself in. In the title story, a man who has devolved from breeding hounds for hunting to training them for dog-fighting crosses paths with a Salvadoran gangbanger tasked with taking over the rural drug trade, but who mostly wants to grow old in peace. As Crimes in Sourthern Indiana unfolds, we witness the unspeakable, yet are compelled to find sympathy for the depraved.
Bill's southern Indiana is haunted with the deep, authentic sense of place that recalls the best of Southern fiction, but the interconnected stories bristle with the urban energy of a Chuck Palahniuk or a latter-day Nelson Algren and rush with the slam-bang plotting of pulp-noir crime writing à la Jim Thompson. Bill's prose is gritty yet literary, shocking, and impossible to put down. A dark evocation of the survivalist spirit of the working class, this is a brilliant debut by an important new voice.
Frank Bill lives and writes in southern Indiana. Crimes in Southern Indiana is his first book.
After the tragic and bloody end to The Cartel’s reign, Carter is forced into isolation to evade the law. With his wife, Miamor, facing federal charges and his dear brother, six feet under, Carter has never been more alone. His empire is at his feet and he has no idea how to rebuild his kingdom. The only thing that is certain is that he has to stay out the way and off the radar of the Feds until he can figure out how to get his lady out of prison.
Miamor’s freedom is guaranteed—provided Carter help create and distribute a drug that will take the streets by storm. Rubbing elbows with the most notorious, ruthless leaders of the underworld will get him what he wants. But can he win at their game of murder and money?