Several months ago, Erik Williams asked if I’d read his novelette The Reverend’s Powder. Despite my snotty policy of “I will no longer look at manuscripts for blurbs, introductions, or goofy website write-ups,” I said yes, because Erik is a cool guy and The Reverend’s Powder was short. I read it immediately and loved it, but there was no rush to write anything about it, since the book wasn’t available yet.
It went up for pre-order this week, so I glanced at the manuscript for a quick memory refresher…and ended up reading the whole thing all the way through again. It’s damn good stuff.
As with several other projects I’ve written about, you’re better off not knowing where this one is headed. I guess it’s okay to tell you that our narrator Matthew kidnaps Reverend Simms and straps him naked onto a metal dolly, and that the reverend killed his sister Laura, because that’s all in the first paragraph. And about three pages in we move back in time and discover that Laura has cancer, and that Reverend Simms is a miracle healer, and that Matthew thinks it’s all a scam…so on second thought, it’s perfectly fine to know most of where the book is headed.
But what happens when you’ve got a naked reverend strapped to a dolly? That can’t be good, right?
The Reverend’s Powder is a gripping little tale. I’d say “It grabs you from the first sentence and never lets you go!” but that’s kind of trite, so instead I’ll point out that I would say that if it weren’t so lame. If you’re the kind of person who would be offended by…well, everything I’ve written so far, you might want to give this one a pass, but for everybody else, it comes highly recommended.
Right now you can pre-order it as a combo pack with Fiona and Grams by the always-excellent Gene O’Neill, and it will be available separately once it’s ready to ship. Check it out right here: