Out Now from Trouble Department!

“Please,” the son said. He spoke through tears. “Please.”

“It is too late. Your life is no longer your own. You’ve been bargained away, dear one. You belong to me, to my city.”

Disgrace. Shame. Trauma. A place where there is no grace left from which to fall; but that doesn’t mean a person can’t fall any further. Burdened by the unbearable weight of his sins against his own family, a young man flees home for a city that welcomes him all too eagerly. By the bright-yet-false light of streetlamps, he searches for a way to redeem himself, even a little. When he finds guidance from the fearsome criminal Pin, redemption seems, at first, to be within reach. But Pin’s ominous reputation is more than just mystique, and the man soon learns that more will be demanded of him here than he is willing to pay.

Blake Johnson’s debut novella brings the classical American Gothic aesthetic seamlessly into the 21st century. From blighted former industrial towns to opium-haunted cityscapes, it shows a land in which everything is exactly as it seems; but whether the people there are willing to see it is another matter.

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