With language as taut as classic works by Cormac McCarthy and a richness reminiscent of early Toni Morrison, this stunning debut is set in James's native Jamaica.
On a day beginning with a bad omen - black vultures, locally called John Crows, crash through the church windows – a man calling himself Apostle York set pon Pastor Bligh like when you beat a mangy dog" and evicts the drunken pastor. So begins a fire-and-brimstone power mongering that sets the village on a path to destruction. James combines evangelical ideas about spiritual warfare with the folk traditions of voodoo and magic, producing a transfixing blend of horror and metaphor. The result is a mesmerizing treatise on the nature of good and evil, faith and madness, guilt and forgiveness.