- 304 Pages
- November 20, 2018
- ISBN: 9781510736504
- Imprint: Skyhorse Publishing
- Trim Size: 5.5in x 8.25in
Lynch, West Virginia, is a husk of a town: houses collapsing, deserted coal mines, the money gone. The residents who have not abandoned their homes find themselves living in poverty with little-to-no job opportunities, fighting for scraps and survival under the rule of Ferris Gilbert—the patriarch of a local family who governs the town with manipulative cruelty.
When Jason Felts, a dwarf and aspiring social worker who lives above the town funeral home, is assigned to counsel one of the Gilbert brothers incarcerated inside a youth correctional facility for possession charges, Ferris Gilbert sees a rare opportunity. He seeks out Jason and insists under threat of violence that he smuggle an ominous package into the jail. Torn between his desire to save the young Gilbert brother from a life of crime and concern for his own safety, Jason must make a life-altering decision. At the same time, Gilbert has his hooks in Terry Blankenship, a strung-out young man desperate to carve out a secret life for himself and his boyfriend. If Terry cannot pay his debts to the Gilberts, he has one choice: kill the local sheriff or face the consequences. Sheriff Thompson is found dead soon after. Now both implicated in serious crimes, Jason and Terry must outrun the law and escape the threat of Ferris Gilbert but there may be nowhere to run . . .
The Pallbearer is an unflinching debut for fans of Frank Bill and Sarah Waters that lays bare the lives of the outsiders of society’s outskirts.
“What makes The Pallbearer so powerful, ultimately, is Farmer's language that welds lyricism to a ferocious vision upending our notions about the unseen, the rural poor, and ultimately, those who hunger for any small thing to save their lives. He reminds us to be human in the better sense of the word-to care more, not less.” —Jonis Agee, author of The Bones of Paradise
“Captivating. Intensely atmospheric. Stark, haunting, poetic. Aficionados of Jim Thompson will appreciate Farmer's gritty portrait of dangerous, heartbroken misfits, and they'll find in The Pallbearer all the raw, crooked suspense of the best film noir. Above all is the depth of Farmer's perspective on these devastated characters and all the intrigue they kick up from the dust and dirt.”—Timothy Schaffert, author of The Swan Gondola
“Written in bar-blood, prescription pill puke and a deftly insightful pathos, Farmer's The Pallbearer is a sensitive and harrowing soul shriek from the neglected youth of Trumpland.”—Bradford Tatum, author of Only the Dead Know Burbank