Being that “evil in a small town” is one of my favorite horror tropes, when Turner Publishing/Keylight Books offered me this ARC, I greedily jumped on the chance and here we are!
An ex-enforcer for the mob who just lost his common-law wife; a young woman dreaming of escape from her small town and wondering what happened to her sister. Curtis and Beth do eventually meet in Harlow and together, discover what happened to Kate. It’s not pretty, Harlow isn’t pretty and you’d best prepare yourself for this cracking story!
The town of Harlow, like Derry, like Salem’s Lot, has a lot of dark secrets and dark places. Literally dark places, as the town sits on a cave-like network of mines. Unlike those other towns though, once you come in, you have to get permission to leave.
The town comes alive here as we learn the cast and caste of Harlow. There is an order to things, and to people, and you’d best not step out of your assigned place. All of this was succinctly described and brought to life. As the tale progresses we never stop learning about the town and its history and I thought those sections were some of the best in the book.
The population of Harlow takes some time to get to know, but know them we do. Then, before you know it, the whole story twists on itself and what you thought was going to happen turns out to be almost completely incorrect. One more thing: Curtis the ex bad guy? I admit to loving the hell out him even though he’s one of the worst people, like, EVER. Mr. Venturini gets us into his head and yes, it’s an ugly place, but I understood where he was coming from every step of the way. Curtis reminded me a bit of Marv from Sin City and just like I was with him, I was rooting for Curtis.
I’m not saying anything else about the plot other than one plot point didn’t work for me that well, but I was so entertained, it was easy for me to overlook. Other than that, I enjoyed the time I spent in Harlow, and perhaps I’ll get to read more about these characters in the future? If not, I’ll be happy with my memories of them. If “evil in a small town” is one of your favorite tropes, I highly recommend TO DUST YOU SHALL RETURN!
Thank you to Turner Publishing/Keylight Books for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is it!