Joe Hark is the Night Marshal of Pitchfork County, but he’s also become a whole lot more than he once was—with the power of two warring gods now raging within him, he’s truly a force to be reckoned with. And he’s gonna need all the power and help he can get. A new company has moved into town, bringing jobs and money with them, but they have an ulterior motive: there’s something powerful in the ground of Pitchfork. Something old and deadly and dangerous, and the new company wants it. Bad. And they’ll hurt anyone who gets in their way. Now Joe, with the help of his scary, supernatural family, is going to have to take on a whole slew of otherworldly dangerous—strange wraith like children, infected thugs, and terrifying demons—if he hopes to keep the residents of Pitchfork alive.
The MC: Joe is still a tough-as-nails, hard case, with a terrible job to do and not much patience when it comes to dealing with dabblers of the Left Hand Path. But he’s also grown quite a bit as a character: he’s staying away from the bottle (though he’s tempted at times), he’s reconnected with his family, and he’s even trying to be a little more patient and lenient with the folks of Pitchfork. In this book you also get put into the shoes of Joe’s wife Stevie and his kids all of whom are fleshed out and really end up holding their own as characters.
The World: I loved Pitchfork the first time around and in this installment the mythos deepens and really comes alive. We finally get to see Stevie, the Bog Witch, tap into her power and boy is it a sight to behold … I’d never want to get on her bad side. The world also becomes more expansive, Joe is forced to leave Pitchfork and realizes that the Left Hand Path isn’t just confined to his little county. No, there’s a great big world out there full of big, bad evil. Once again, I’m sure glad I don’t live in Pitchfork, but it’s a fun place to visit.
The Story and Writing: The plot was great and the story line original enough, though once again it’s a track down leads, slay the monster, noir-style book (perfectly fine by me). There are a couple of great twists that I honestly didn’t see coming, including the end (no spoilers here) which perfectly sets the stage for more adventures to come. Once again, this is an action-oriented book—and Sam Witt knows how to do action, let me tell you—with a fair amount of gore. But hey, if you made it through Half-Made Girls, you should be just fine. One book can be a fluke, but with this second book, it is clear that Sam Witt is a writer to watch.
The Rating: Once again, Five Stars, even better than the last. Just a word o Mr. Witt, please write more books. Buy it here: Night-Blooded Boys: A Pitchfork County Novel