Brutal and disturbing: Willard's blood sacrifice prayers set the scene for interweaving lives of poverty and violence in small-town Ohio. A desperate preacher misled into murder. Corrupt Sheriff Bodecker clinging to power oblivious to his sister's serial killing summer vacations. And Willard's son Arvin learning to be a man. You'll find a rough sort of justice here, but little mercy.
A couple of days later, Willard began picking up animals killed along the road: dogs, cats, raccoons, possums, groundhog, deer. The corpses that were too stiff and too far gone to bleed out, he hung from the crosses and the tree limbs around the prayer log. The heat of the sun and the humidity rotted them quickly. The stench made Arvin and him choke back vomit as they knelt and called out for the Savior's mercy.