The Devil in the Valley
New York, NY, The Overlook Press (2015)
192 pages Hardcover $24.95
Published in the United Kingdom by Duckworth Overlook Publishers, London (2015)
DESCRIPTION In his quiet Vermont home, a man named Taft, dispirited “ex-teacher, ex-scholar, ex-abstainer,” sits alone, except for a bottle of Sir Walter’s scotch, and wonders what’s missing from his life. He’s at a loss until a voice startles him from the rocking chair, where a stranger has appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. He’s well-dressed, smooth-talking, proves to be a devilishly charming drinking partner, and he offers Taft the chance to have anything he’s ever wanted—for a price. So begins The Devil in the Valley, the new novel from the acclaimed Castle Freeman, Jr. Placed in Freeman’s classic setting of a dark, moody rural Vermont, this beguiling tale touches on temptation and greed and all the things we desire for ourselves and for others in this life. A captivating story that explores the supernatural while staying rooted deeply in our world, The Devil in the Valley is a seductively powerful novel, as bewitching as Old Nick himself, from a master of his craft.
Cooking right along, with the top down and the breeze whistling past his hairy, slightly pointed ears, on a fresh new mission, feeling fit and frisky in the warm early-spring afternoon, Dangerfield, the account man, the closer, motored into the valley at the wheel of his beloved MGA, a classic like its driver. Spinning through the curves of the little two-lane, enjoying the blooming trees, the blooming shrubs, the blooming daffodils or whatever the hell they were by the roadside, he at first missed the cruiser in his rearview, its blue light going.
Damnation, said Dangerfield. He pulled over.