This novelette happened across my path as a submission for an anthology I am putting together on fantasy westerns. I didn’t accept it to the anthology, but that’s because I lacked the space, not because I didn’t like it!
This is a well-written and enjoyable tale of vengeance and necromancy. The characters are vivid and well-realized. The author drew upon a real-life story that took place in his home town, which provides a strong grounding of realism that helps to anchor the fantastical elements. The plot feels something like holding your breath as you see a slow-motion train wreck unfold in front of you. You know something bad is happening, but feel helpless to stop it, and that sense of dread is what keeps you turning the pages.
It’s difficult to tell at first that this a speculative fiction piece because it’s a slow burn. For that reason, I think fans of fantasy, horror, or western will appreciate this tale. If you enjoy any of the three, I think you ought to give it a try!