I have a new favorite Robert McCammon novel. I didn’t know if anything could ever usurp Mystery Walk or Mine, but here we are. Gone South is a glorious, countrified character study; on display is one of McCammon’s most enthralling plots set against the swamps of Louisiana.
If I may humble brag for a moment, I am going to a McCammon reading/signing on Tuesday and will certainly take my first edition of this book for him to autograph. And I suspect I will be rereading it often — how could I not? A Vietnam vet’s life has crumbled to pieces, and he’s lost almost everything . . . except his will. After killing a banker in defense, he’s on the run from a couple of bounty hunters (a man with three arms and an Elvis Presley impersonator . . . trust me, it works) and in tow is a girl desperately searching for a miracle in the heart of the Bayou. McCammon’s characters are always well rounded and developed, but these folks are special. I feel McCammon created the characters first and worked from there. The result is a thrilling ride filled to the brim with people the reader can care deeply about.
Every Robert McCammon novel is an underrated masterpiece. This one especially. McCammon doesn’t get the attention he deserves, never has. Though this isn’t the horror or historical fiction he is known for, certainly check this out if you’re up for a boat ride through the swamps in search of redemption. But be careful of alligators.