A dying white man tells his black nurse the story of the disintegration of his family in 1960s Mississippi after the town he grew up in tried to sweep a young black boy's murder aside.
In the hills of Pennsylvania, phantoms from the past mingle with those of the present, all swirling in a dark maelstrom over Division. Haunted by the part he played in his brother Mark's death, John McDonnell takes a midnight hike and stumbles across four dead girls upon the forest floor. Their severed limbs spell Repent. The coroner finds Mark's onyx skeleton key inside one of the victims, right where her heart used to be. The last time John had seen the key it was clasped in his brother's hand before they buried him.
The time is the mid-1880s when Florida, south of St. Augustine, is a virtual wilderness and Daytona, Miami, and Tampa are little more than dots on the maritime charts. Addie is a "beanery queen" who ekes out a living from her canteen at the convergence of two primitive railroads. She is popular with the train crews but is disdained by most of the townspeople because she lives, unmarried, with a war veteran whose mental disorder is considered to be of demonic origin.
"Delightful and interesting"