I am vacillating between three and four stars on this one. Robert Jackson Bennett has written a thoughtful horror novel that captures the desperation of the Great Depression and explores our own ambivalence about death and misfortune. It is perhaps too thoughtful. Those looking for an action packed suspense tale may be a bit disappointed. However there is a lot to recommend this debut. My misgivings are centered mainly around character development. The main protagonist Connelly is consistent. He is an obsessed man made so by tragedy. He joins a number of men who have the same goal, one that will remain unsaid here since it would spoil some of the pleasure of this book. Yet the other men are not so developed. They take twist and turns that are not so explainable weakening the consistency of the novel. Having said that, I must also say the authors' strengths are many. He is especially good at dialogue and when there is an action scene such as a dust storm or a battle in a small mountain town it is usually riveting. I also felt the ending was quite satisfying. Overall I recommend this book to lovers of horror fiction and fantasy that centers around American history and mythology. This is a debut novel and I expect that the talented writer will work out some of the kinks in his later works. If that happens, I can easily see Mr. Bennett's name bring batted around with King, Bloch and Matheson.