by Pope Brock
Doubleday/Nan A. Talese. 373 pp.
This is the story of the murder of my great-grandfather, Ham Dillon, in 1908. A rising politician, he had a long, clandestine affair with his wife’s sister. When she gave birth, she tried to pass the baby off as her husband Link’s — unsuccessfully. Link shot Ham five times in the middle of Main Street. At the trial, both women wore widow’s weeds.
“Jolting along in his buggy through the freezing night, gripping the seat with his free hand, Dr. MacGregor Porter could see the bonfire from the road. It was a mile or more off, up a slight rise of hill, but he could make out the lick and leap of the flames plain enough, see the dark and shifting figures. He knew what they were doing and why. Hell, he’d advised it. That day a patient of his who lived there, nice woman, had died of cancer. Now the family was burning her bedroom furniture and her clothes….”
“…as elegantly wrought as the finest of fiction” – New York Times Book Review
“highly evocative…vividly told…” – Washington Post
“Brock sketches…the entire cast of country doctors, hired hands, frosty matriarchs and corn farmers in vivid color. The depiction of rural life in Davies County, Indiana, in the early years of this century transports the reader.” – Publishers Weekly
“Indiana Gothic is a brilliant fusion of In Cold Blood and The Bridges of Madison County… To recreate a period, chart a plot or to attain emotional depth in the way this novel has would all be major achievements taken alone. To have them all is very special.” – Independent on Sunday
“As pure courtroom drama Indiana Gothic is as good as it gets; as historical reconstruction, there has been none better.” — Independent
“brilliant and original” – Sunday Times [London]
“a wonderful read” – The Times [London]
“...evocative, erotic…reads like the best fiction” — The Mirror [London]