Book Notification

Hank Early Books In Order

Book links take you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Publication Order of Earl Marcus Mystery Books

Heaven's Crooked Finger (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
In the Valley of the Devil (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Echoes of the Fall (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Hank Early is an American teacher and author from Alabama who writes Southern Gothic fiction. Early is actually a pen name used by John Mantooth.

Hank Early was an avid reader as a child. He wasn’t a writer per say. In fact, the author believes he waited a little too late to start writing. But even as a child, the author loved to tell stories.

Hank imputes the habit to his father who had a decent library filled with the books of authors such as Ed McBain and Stephen King. The books informed Hank’s eventual writing style and storytelling quirks.

The author has noticed that every book he has ever written features a story that would not have been out of place on his father’s bookshelf.

Before the author took to writing, he first gave into his love for teaching, eventually finding a place at a middle school in Central Alabama. Though, Hank eventually attended the University of Alabama (Birmingham) from where he earned his Masters in English and Creative writing.

The author has a wife and children which makes for a busy life but he always finds at least one hour on any given day to write. And when the summer holidays come around, you are unlikely to pry the author away from his computer.

Hank Early came to fame when he wrote ‘Heaven’s Crooked Finger’ in 2017. The book featured the exploits of a man who, after growing up in a harsh Christian fundamentalist church, ran away only to return in the wake of his father’s disappearance.

Hank’s upbringing was fraught with fear. His parents and grandparents raised him to fear hell and the darkest aspects of the Biblical Book of Revelations. By the time he was 11, the author was spending sleepless nights wondering when the rapture would come and how he would fare once the hordes of unbelievers descended upon his town like rabid dogs, caught in some sort of demonic frenzy.

It was little wonder that Hank went so far as to bury sticks and clubs in the woods in the hopes that he could unearth the weapons in time to defend himself once the end finally came.

As an adult, it was a struggle for the author to overcome the scars that his family inflicted upon his mind and spirit, though he finally found peace once he left the church.

Despite the emotional trauma of his childhood, Hank Early only ever has good things to say about his close and distant family. Even as they filled his mind with imagery that would haunt his dreams throughout his teenage and adults years, Hank acknowledges that they never stopped loving him.

The author saw this duality of character most starkly in his grandmother. The woman stood at the forefront of those who scared Hank Early senseless with their talk of death, Hades, and the rapture.

She never missed an opportunity to drill into Hank’s young mind all the torture that would be visited upon him by the devil and his demons if he failed to behave. And yet, when the author’s parents contracted cancer, the eighty-year-old woman abandoned her rural mountain home and moved in with the family without hesitation, giving her mind, soul, and body to the task of caring for them.

Hank cannot think of another individual who loved him more than the woman that also frightened him with religion. It is because of his complex upbringing that Hank writes a lot about rural settings and highly nuanced characters.

There are also elements of the supernatural sprinkled into his stories. The author actually started writing under his real name, John Mantooth. And he was really proud of ‘The Year of the Storm’, his first published novel.

However, despite the positive critic reviews and Bram Stoker Award nominations, the response to the book from the general public was very lukewarm, so much so that plans to publish Mantooth’s second novel were eventually scrapped.

At the time, the author’s publisher was going through a reshuffle and Mantooth wasn’t the only writer to suffer as a result. However, even after the dust settled, not only was the publisher unwilling to give Mantooth’s book (Tuscaloosa) a shot but even the other publishers Mantooth spoke to shunned it, unwilling to take a chance on the title primarily because of how poorly Mantooth’s first novel had performed.

Mantooth persevered. He kept shopping Tuscaloosa around; but after a few months and years, it became clear to the author that the negativity surrounding his name was debilitating his career.

As a result, when Mantooth wrote and submitted ‘Heaven’s Crooked Finger’, and when his new independent publisher asked him to use a pen name, the author did not hesitate to agree.

The Hank Early pseudonym was born soon after. Hank believes the pen name succeeded because his publisher was able to sell ‘Heaven’s Crooked Finger’ as the debut novel of a new author.

+Heaven’s Crooked Finger
Earl Marcus’s father built his church on the themes of fear and penance. And when Earl finally escaped the Church’s grip and the mountains of Georgia, he had no intention of looking back.

He never thought that a single photo would drag him back to his hometown. Now Earl must face the Church of the Holy Flame in an attempt to determine whether or not his father is alive.

The fact that the spate of missing girls in the town has gone largely unnoticed worries Earl whose investigations begin to reveal a litany of dangerous secrets.

+In the Valley of the Devil
Earl Marcus cemented his role as a private detective in North Georgia when he brought to light the heinous sins of his father’s church. Now Earl is more than ready to put his skills to good use by investigating the rumors of an old legend that has seemingly manifested.

Initially, Earl did not expect much in the way of trouble, regardless of what the rumors of killers that collect human skulls suggested. But then his partner Mary disappeared and the detective realized that he was dealing with an actual, tangible threat.

Now Earl must work fast, sift through the clues, confront his past and get to the bottom of North Georgia’s demons before time runs out for Mary.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Hank Early

Leave a Reply