Thursday, 12 March 2015

Soil - Jamie Kornegay

"It begins as a simple dream.

An idealistic environmental scientist moves his wife and young son off the grid, to a stretch of river bottom farmland in the Mississippi hills, hoping to position himself at the forefront of a revolution in agriculture.

Within a year, he is ruined.

When a corpse appears on his family's property, the farmer is convinced he's being set up. And so begins a journey into a maze of misperceptions and personal obsessions, as the farmer, his now-estranged wife, a predatory deputy, and a backwoods wanderer, all try to uphold a personal sense of honour.

By turns hilarious and darkly disturbing, Soil traces one man's apocalypse to its epic showdown in the Mississippi mudflats."

When the tag line of a book states, "The Coen Brothers meets Crime and Punishment - with a Mississippi twist", you kind of know it's going to be a good one. For me, this one was a slow burner - at first I was picking it up here and there and reading a chapter at a time, when it suddenly hooked me and wouldn't let me go. Jay's spiral further and further into his paranoia makes for uncomfortable reading in some places, where as in others the Fargo-esque twists and turns of the story did make me laugh out loud in places, ("Leavenger shot that dog himself after she come up pregnant with his own man-pups", had me sniggering like a child). 

Some parts may leave the reader feeling a little uncomfortable and in some places downright grossed out (for want of a better word) but Jamie Kornegay is a fantastic writer, and has created a darkly funny tale of murder, accusation and paranoia with some crazy-funny dialogue thrown in for good measure. If you liked Fargo you'll love Soil.

Soil is out now and you can get it here (and I highly recommend you do):

*I received an review copy from the publisher via Bookbridgr*

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