After reading Erik Williams’ chapbook, The Reverend’s Powder, I was sold. His lean prose and vicious brutality made me smile and wince at the same time. So when Gallows Press sent me a box of books to review, and I saw his name among them, his was the first to be read.

Progeny concerns sort-of-private detective Frank Baldwin, who does stuff for money. Not handjobs in the bus-station men’s room kind of stuff. He finds people and things for a fee. When he’s hired by a man to locate his missing daughter, a pop megastar, and return her to him for $100,000, it seems too good to be true.

Baldwin uses his familiarity with Tijuana to his advantage but soon discovers that this case is nothing like he expected. Nothing is what it initially seems. The missing girl seems tethered to a vicious death cult, nightmares that could be prophetic, and a terrifying arachnoid god.

A clean and razor-sharp story, Progeny reminded me a lot of William Hjortsberg’s Falling Angel, only in a modern setting.

If I had any qualms at all with this novel it would be that it’s too short. I wanted more. I hope to read more of Erik’s work. He definitely has the goods.

About John Boden

Lives in the shadow of Three Mile Island. Likes Diet Pepsi, fried food and truck-drivin' music. Has ferocious sideburns and a heart of gold.
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  1. Pingback: Progeny Review | Snutch Labs 2013

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