Adam Colclough lives and works in the West Midlands, he writes regularly for a number of websites, one day he will get round to writing a book for someone else to review.
Jay Mize, an idealistic farmer moves his family to the Mississippi flood basin in the hope of starting a new life; big mistake. Within months his wife has left him taking his son with her, his farm has been inundated by a flood and after finding a dead body left behind by the flood waters he begins to fear he is being framed for murder.
There are times when life really does resemble a twelve bar blues and just because you might be paranoid it doesn’t mean a whole crowd of people aren’t out to get you.
This remarkably accomplished debut novel marks the point where crime writing and literary fiction come together. The body in question is, of course, a McGuffin thrown into the mix to hasten Jay Mize’s descent into a hell of his own making. It is also a rock thrown into the stagnant water of small town life to create ripples that feel like tidal waves to those thrown about in their wake.
People like Jay’s estranged wife Sandy, struggling with the collapse of her marriage, the demands of being a single mother and her father’s sudden frailty; and Sherriff’s Deputy Danny Sholes, a younger and thinner version of the Orson Welles character in ‘Touch of Evil,’ a little man trying to cast a bigger shadow than he’s capable of doing forever one step away from being brought down either by his lusts or his incompetence.
Kornegay draws these characters and a dozen others with the skill of a writer two or more books into a winning run making it all the more surprising this is his first novel.
He also writes with remarkable sensitivity about the American landscape, an epic space where every rainstorm seems like a biblical deluge in the making and it is possible to find the sort of solitude where even the most deranged theories about the end times start to seem rational.
This is a truly masterful first appearance from a writer who looks set to become a major literary voice and to cross with ease the artificial boundaries of genre.