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Although the extra cash helps keep him solvent, hog farmer Gene Barnes isn’t proud of his role in disposing of the occasional body for an old Marine buddy mixed up with who knows what. Gene definitely doesn’t want to know and has been warned not to ask. That is, until he recognizes one of the bodies he’s about to feed to the hogs. Now he’s got plenty of questions and none of ’em have good answers. When Gene sets off to find the truth, he travels a landscape of loss: loss of family, loss of the American small town, and loss of his own moral compass. From his farm in Carmi, Illinois, to Metropolis, the home of Superman, he travels through a Graveyard of the Gods only to discover revenge, and redemption comes at a high price.
In his debut novel, poet, playwright, and River Styx editor Richard Newman tells a humdinger of a tale that begins in the cornfields along the silty banks of the Wabash River and brushes with ghosts of his family’s past, the nursing home where his deranged mother lives, Ohio River pirates near Cave-in-Rock, and the destruction of the small-town American and the Midwestern family farm through corporate greed before a final showdown in Garden of the Gods park of the Shawnee National Forest.