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Eryk Pruitt Books In Order

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Publication Order of Jess Keeler Books

Something Bad Wrong (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blood Red Summer (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Publication Order of Collections

Townies: And Other Stories of Southern Mischief (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Grifter's Song Books

The Concrete Smile (By: Frank Zafiro) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
People Like Us (By: J.D. Rhoades) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Whale (By: Lawrence Kelter) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Movie Makers (By: Gary Phillips) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lost in Middle America (By: Colin Conway) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Come the Apocalypse (By: Frank Zafiro) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Losing Streak (By: Jim Wilsky) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gone Dead on You (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Upgrade (By: Asa Maria Bradley) (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Money Block (By: Holly West) (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sound of Breaking Bones (By: Eric Beetner) (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Still Life with Suitcase (By: Scott Eubanks) (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Down Comes the Night (By: Frank Zafiro) (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Reckoner (By: Frank Zafiro) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Rule of Thirds (By: Matt Phillips) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Down and Out (By: Lawrence Maddox) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Travel Money (By: Jonathan Brown) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rocky Mountain Lie (By: Michael Pool) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Open Up Your Heart (By: Carmen Jaramillo) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ride Like Hell (By: S.A. Cosby) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Alpha Whisperer (By: Frank Zafiro) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dracula Wine (By: David Housewright) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Diamond Dogs (By: Gabriel Valjan) (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dusty and Bent (By: Trey R. Barker) (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Concrete and Cocaine (By: Vincent Zandri) (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Low White Plain (By: Paul J. Garth) (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dangerous to Know (By: Hilary Davidson) (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Madam Tomahawk (By: Nick Kolakowski) (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Outfoxed (By: Jeffery Hess) (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Somewhere Outside Salvation (By: James D.F. Hannah) (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Southern Gothic: New Tales of the South(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nuclear Town USA(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Plan B, Volume III(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dark Corners Vol. 1 Issue 2(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wrestle Maniacs(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dark Yonder: Tales & Tabs(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lockdown(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Eryk Pruitt is an award-winning crime fiction and horror books author. Besides writing, Eryk is a screenwriter and filmmaker and has produced an award-winning short film, FOODIE. His short fiction books have been featured in various publications such as Pulp Modern, Avalon Literary Review, and Zymbol and were a finalist in the Derringer Award. Eryk hosts The Crime Scene with Eryk Pruitt, a monthly show and podcast. He resides in Durham, North Carolina.

Pruitt is not new to crime fiction, which is proven through his illustration of the shadowy underbelly of the American South. His track record in rural noir narrative storytelling continues to grow. His third crime novel, Something Bad Wrong, was propelled to some extent by the Valentine’s Day Murders in North Carolina, the topic of his eight episodes true crime podcasts The Long Dance. It is also the debut novel in a new series starring journalist Jess Keeler.

Jess, who, like the author, is a true crime podcaster, recently moved in with her mother in Deaton County, North Carolina, following her divorce. Jess has previously worked in journalism but has grown frustrated about covering minor events. She desires to write something serious for a change and contribute significantly. Finding her grandfather’s old spiral notebook could result in the article she needs to improve her career.

Jess’s grandfather, Sheriff’s Deputy ‘Big’ Jim Ballard, was a well-respected detective until he took on the case famously dubbed as the Lake Castor Christmas Eve Murders. On December 24, 1971, Steven Hicks and Linda Harris went missing after attending a small get-together of colleagues and friends close to Lake Castor, Virginia. Two weeks later, a county surveyor discovered them in Deeton, across the state line, tethered to a tree. Both victims were strangled to death, and the ceremonial arrangement of their corpses suggests that they were victims of serial killers.

However, no one has ever been convicted, and it appears there wasn’t even a suspect. The case remains unsolved until Jess finds her grandfather’s notebook and begins asking awkward questions. Sadly, some of the participants have already passed away. Others, including Jess’s mother, are unwilling to speak. Her mother believes Big Jim’s participation in the case destroyed their family but declines to clarify why.

What prevented cops from arresting the killer in Deeton or Lake Castor? Was it the incapacity of both groups to investigate through state lines or the incompetence of a single detective? Lake Castor investigator Hank Dorritt and his colleague Sergeant Jack Powers were investigating the couple’s disappearance. Sheriff Red Carter’s Deeton squad, consisting of Jim Ballard, got involved in the case after discovering the bodies, thereby complicating matters.

Old-school sheriff Red Carter had a unique strategy for law enforcement and a misogynistic outlook. He maintained that he ran the entire county with only seven of North Carolina’s finest men – each handling one of the seven grievous sins, he says, creating a Bible Belt atmosphere.

As with any true-crime enthusiast, Jess is intrigued by the lack of information. She cleverly asks for the help of the notorious local columnist Dan Decker, a womanizer who is the subject of scandalous rumors. Jess knows Dan’s celebrity status will facilitate conversation and open avenues. She is also aware that Dan is eager for attention, particularly after losing his job and being implicated in sexually harassing women. She disregards Dan’s overblown ego and rude actions toward the victims’ families. Dan could not care less about the emotions of others. He views his participation in Jess’s podcast solely as an opportunity to gain a reputation.

Jess struggles to make meaning of her grandfather’s strange and repetitious notes. The notebook indicates who Jim Ballard thought to be the murderer, but why were they not convicted if he was so certain of their identity? The story is told across two timelines: that of Jess’s grandfather documenting the investigation in the 1970s and that of Jess, who is currently attempting to ascertain why the case was not solved. This parallel narrative eventually reveals the purpose of James Ballard’s notebook and the events surrounding the case.
In Something Bad Wrong, the tenuous state of a homicide investigation is deeply explored. It shows how quickly a murderer can escape justice when the erratic human element is added, and neutrality is compromised. It is a powerful crime stew that simmers with corruption, family secrets, egos, and shame. This lengthy read periodically wanders and meanders a little, lengthening the plot, and Pruitt reclaims the reader’s interest by incorporating unexpected and startling events. If you enjoy reading SA Cosby or Eli Cranor books, this book is highly recommended for you to devour.

First published in 2014, Dirtbags isn’t precisely a charming tale of princesses with magical unicorns and rainbows; instead, the plot focuses on serial killers. The story takes place in a little Virginian town where all the factories have shut down, and all that lingers in the atmosphere is hate.

In this story, Eryk Pruitt gives us a glimpse of a world where marginalized people are fascinated by serial killers and their short-lived fame. It’s a place full of young men who never got over their bad high school memories and now wonder whether everyone would have been better off if they hadn’t experienced the disappointment and trash that made up their post-high school life. If there are any valuable lessons to be learned from this, it may be that a man who employs a killer to assassinate his ex-wife should not stiff him.

The subject matter of this novel is not what renders it great, as others have undoubtedly explored it before. Here, however, the tone is approachable, sarcastic, and engaging. Meet Calvin Cantrell, one of the many dirtbags in his town. He is the product of a failing society, one of the many with no redeeming qualities. Calvin is an aspiring serial killer, some revengeful Frankenstein creation that comes back to haunt the town. Like earlier stated, he isn’t the only dirtbag. His wife is also a dirtbag and a product of society’s failing. Calvin thinks he will solve his unemployment problem like most folks do, finding a new career as a serial killer. How he gets, there is equally chilling and comedic.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Eryk Pruitt

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