Out of Mercy

Down & Out Books
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It’s the fall of 1882. Kentucky, the land of dark and bloody ground as the Indians called it, has far from recovered from the Civil War. The small town of Mercy, a rest stop for the emotionally and physically disfigured drifters left over from the war, will soon pay the price of the violence inherent in American culture, and the racism still palpable throughout the hills and hollers of rural Kentucky.

 

The first sign of doom arrives on horseback: three outlaws wanted in Virginia and other parts for robbery and murder. A beautiful, tomboyish white young woman with blue tattoos on her face, markings from her time as a captive of Apaches; a former slave whose days of cowtowing to polite white society are over, and the most deadly and mysterious, the motley gang’s leader, Tompal Banks.

 

But the source of Mercy’s impending doom, the rioting and bloodshed that touch the lives of every resident, from the alcoholic Marshal to the haunted Mayor, will come from within the community, incited by the apocalyptic gospel spoken by the syphilitic Reverend Thurman on the Banks of the Ohio to his congregation of repressed sexual deviants and bloodthirsty war veterans.

 

Praise for OUT OF MERCY:

 

“A savage, horrifying and gut-bustingly funny Western, set in an Old West that would have made John Wayne turn and run for his life and featuring a cast of characters so richly imagined I’m afraid they’ll turn up in my nightmares. I loved every word of it.” —Scott Phillips, New York Times bestselling author of The Ice Harvest

 

“Think Elmore Leonard or Cormac McCarthy—with a dash of Nick Hornby to keep things suitably bent. But make no mistake—Ashley has a strong, savage, uncompromising voice of his own. Out of Mercy is the kind of flat-out, heart-stopping, psycho-emotional thrill ride that just might put this author on the map with the giants. Personally, I can’t wait to read more of Jonathan Ashley’s work—once I recover from this one.” —Jerry Stahl, New York Times bestselling author of Permanent Midnight

 

“Hard, stark and brilliant, Out of Mercy is the best Western I’ve read in years.” —Benjamin Whitmer, author of Cry Father

 

“A dark gem, a bleak tale of survival and revenge in the bloody hills of Kentucky. Vividly written, filled with compelling characters and laced with black humor, this is frontier noir at its best.” —James Reasoner, author of Texas Wind

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Additional Information

Publisher
Down & Out Books
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Published on
Jul 2, 2018
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Pages
272
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Noir
Fiction / Westerns
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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 Jon Catlett, a misanthropic literary obsessive, is facing the loss of the only thing in the world he loves; his used bookstore, a haven for fellow weirdos, outcasts, misunderstood geniuses and malcontents. Jon has several other problems, the least of which are his love affair with a bi-polar femme fatale heiress to a thriving northern steel company or the exponentially growing opiate habit he has developed.

 

When Jon, during a deal gone wrong, accidentally kills a fellow drug addict, getting away with murder turns out to be the least of his worries. The steps he and Paul, the obsessive-compulsive manager of Jon's store, must take to cover up the killing result in the two cornering Louisville's blossoming heroin trade.

 

From West End gangbangers to dirty cops and crusading narcotics detectives, Jon and his unstable partner in crime must dilute their morals and thicken their skin if they are to have any hope of surviving the lucrative but deadly life they've stumbled upon.

 

Praise for THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS:

 

“Poetic, down trodden and nihilistic, Jonathan Ashley treads through parts of the human psyche that others fear for one black tar mind-f**k-ride of a novel.” —Frank Bill, author of Crimes in Southern Indiana and Donnybrook

 

“Ashley breaks our hearts, he breaks all the rules and, most importantly, he breaks our expectations of what a simple crime story can be. He shatters it, in fact, leaving readers craving another deadly taste—much like the lost souls in this chilling, amazing story.” —Patrick Wensink, author of Broken Piano for President

 

“We live in a capitalistic society, yes, but nobody said doing business is easy or even enjoyable. Jonathan Ashley makes this point quite well in The Cost of Doing Business. Of course when the business is the heroin trade, the stakes are life and death, but is the suspicion, the betrayal, the plotting and scheming, all that different than what goes on in the corporate world? Louisville bookstore owner Jon Catlett leaves his used volumes of Yeats behind to get into the drug trade and make some real money, and the result is blood-filled mayhem. He never loses his sense of literate irony, though, taking us through a fast, unpredictable novel with equal parts darkness and humor. A very confident debut.” —Scott Adlerberg, author of Spiders and Flies

‘I loved this book… I was hooked and couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next… to say I devoured this book is a little bit of an understatement… What a great book!’ Dark Twisty Books

 

Suzanne Tyler barely knew her father. But when she’s given a series of secret diaries and eight mysterious photographs of women from his possessions, she knows she won’t be able to rest until she knows the truth about him. 

 

To Suzanne’s shock, one of the photos is of her friend Sophie, who died ten years ago in an unexplained and devastating fire.

But Don only met Sophie once, on an unsettling visit he paid Suzanne just days before Sophie’s death... So why did he have a picture of her?

 

Unable to let Sophie’s memory alone, Suzanne begins to dig into her father’s life. What horrors is she about to unearth in his diaries? And who is it that’s out there, watching her every move?

 

Chilling and utterly page-turning, The Serial Killer’s Daughter is a compelling thriller, perfect for fans of C.L. Taylor, Rachel Abbott, and Tom Bale.

 

Read what everyone is saying about The Serial Killer’s Daughter:

 

‘Amazing, page turning, tense and twisted… From the first page to the last, the pace doesn't stop at all.’ Stylish Brunette

 

‘Oh my goodness what a dark and twisted read… Gripping from the first page, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat all the way to its shocking conclusion… A roller coaster of a thriller… A gripping story of the psychology of evil and the lengths people will go to meet their own needs.’ The Book Review Café

 

‘An explosive climax.’ Novel Gossip

 

‘This thriller will have you speeding to the end.’ Books, Books and More Books

 

‘Had me gripped… I couldn’t tear my eyes away.’ The Writing Garnet

 

‘Twists and turns galore which kept me gripped from start to finish. The story flows perfectly with numerous shocking truths uncovered along the way. Brilliantly written… I highly recommend.’ Chat About Books

 

‘A riveting, haunting and twisted family tale.’ Chocolate ‘n’ Waffles

 

‘The Serial Killer's Daughter is one gripping and absorbing psychological thriller… Lesley Welsh did an excellent job of getting into a serial killer's head. A truly absorbing read for anyone who likes the psychological thriller genre!’ Novel Deelights

 

‘A fun, twisty-turning read.’ When the Books Hit the Fans

 

‘Really enjoyed this book, the story line was fascinating. I loved the style of writing… A real page turner that I had a hard job putting down. A solid 6 stars.’ Bonnie’s Book Talk

 

‘I absolutely ADORED this amazing, page turning, tense and twisted thriller. From the first page to the last, the pace doesn't flag, the writing is tight and spare and yet beautiful, the characters real and flawed. Loved every word. Highly recommend this brilliant read.’ Renita D’Silva

 

‘It is a seriously dark and disturbing read… As evil as Don is, he still fascinated me and even though I was horrified by his actions, I had to keep reading. Fans of serial killer reads are without a doubt going to love it as it definitely has the shock factor.’ By The Letter Book Reviews

 

‘The character development in this psychological thriller is sublime… Without doubt one of the most twisted serial killers I’ve encountered… Very twisty.’ It’s All About Books

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