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Not really. But Frank Nichols has no idea what lies in wait for him at his ancestral plantation in Georgia.

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Those Across the River is the debut novel of award-winning poet Christopher Buehlman. This literary horror novel, set in the post-Depression era South, is written in the Southern Gothic tradition complete with hereditary curses, societal transgressions, family secrets and an exploration of social issues of the American South. The posthumously sent warning letter from his seemingly addlebrained and senile aunt paled in comparison to the scandal and unemployment they were leaving behind in Chicago.

Lucien Savoyard died violently when his slaves rose up against him, and his plantation was vandalized by the Union troops who had come to make him free his slaves. What starts out as a quaint backwoods tradition of dressing pigs up in flowers and setting them free across the river turns out to be the one thing that kept Whitbrow safe.

Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman: | Books

But when the town votes to stop the monthly tradition, terrible things begin to happen. Frank, Eudora, and many of the people of Whitbrow feel like real people, dealing with the real issues that plagued those who lived in the Deep South after the Depression. The underlying tension between whites and blacks is palpable, while still being palatable. The story flows well, slowly building one layer upon the other, developing the tension of the unknown bit by bit.

The reveal of what supernatural creatures are menacing the people of Whitbrow is both sudden and subtle, creating a momentary tension based on doubt.

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The prose is sublimely crafted and eminently quotable. Sentences dripped off the page like the sweat off the brows of the characters during the hot summer months, entwined around your mind like exotic dancers. It is clear that Mr. Buehlman has written one of the best books of the year. The action begins early and never lets up.

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  • Recommended for horror fans and those willing to be scared enough to want to stay out of the woods. During the depths of the Depression, Frank Nichols, inherits a small home in rural Georgia. The townspeople live peaceably on their side of the river. Whatever, or whoever, is on the other side does not want to be disturbed.

    Frank is about to discover that some mysteries should not be solved…. Paperback 3 —.

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