book cover of Small Town Sins
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Small Town Sins

(2023)
A novel by

 
 
EDGAR AWARD FINALIST

Ken Jaworowski’s
Small Town Sins is a gripping Rust Belt thriller that captures the characters of a down-and-out Pennsylvania town, revealing their troubled pasts and the crimes that could cost them their lives.

In Locksburg, Pennsylvania, a former coal and steel town whose best days seem long past, five thousand residents have toughed it out, and have reasons for both worry and hope as this neglected place teeters between decay and renewal. For some of them, their biggest troubles have just arrived.

After years of just scraping by, three restless souls have their lives upended: Nathan, a volunteer fireman who uncovers a secret stash of money in a burning building and takes it; Callie, a nurse whose tender patient may not have long to live, despite the girl’s fundamentalist parents’ ardent beliefs; and Andy, a recovering heroin addict who undertakes a nightmare mission to hunt down and stop a serial predator.

Before long, Nathan’s stolen riches threaten to destroy everyone around him as he tries to cover his haphazard trail of lies. Callie risks her career to grant her young patient a final, and likely illegal, wish. And Andy’s hunger for vigilante justice becomes a fierce obsession that may end in violence.

As their stories barrel toward unexpected ends, Nathan, Callie, and Andy struggle to endure—or escape. They each face their pasts and gamble on their futures, and confront the underside of their rough Rust Belt town. Riveting, evocative, and unforgettable,
Small Town Sins is a debut novel that marks the arrival of a major new talent.
Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"A stunning novel. Think Peter Dexter blended with James Sallis. It is that good and beautifully written. The sort of novel where you want to underline whole passages. I'm going to be pressing this book on those I care about. It restored my joy in the mystery genre." - Ken Bruen

"Imagine my delight at this wonderful little book, this riotous cross-section of John Irving and Jim Thompson. These characters breathe the same air other people breathe, they work jobs like real people do. An addictive read from its first page, Small Town Sins pays the reader's attention back with love. A crime book that kept surprising me with its warmth and vigor page after page-it's a delight, well-told and deeply felt." - John Darnielle

"Small Town Sins is full of surprises and moves like a bullet train. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Fans of A Simple Plan and other rural noirs are sure to savor this dark and twisted thriller. I'm excited to read whatever Ken Jaworowski writes next." - Jason Rekulak

"A tour de force of lives on the edge. A page-turner that I couldn't put down. When you think left, it hits you right; when you think it's safe, the ice starts to crack. A seriously good noir thriller." - Willy Vlautin

"Original, bittersweet, twisting, and triumphant. Small Town Sins takes a thrilling and deeply emotive look at cause and effect, at the decisions we make and the lessons we disregard. I adored it." - Chris Whitaker


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