"This novel...delivers a punch worthy of Mohammed Ali."
Adelaide Lyle is a woman not to be reckoned with. The church has always flowed through her veins but she has not attended a service for the last ten years. Instead she looks after the young children, trying desperately to guard them from a more immediate threat – Pastor Carson Chambliss. Adelaide dislikes the pastor and the way he conducts his sermons, especially the part with the rattlesnakes. One day, Adelaide’s friend was found dead in her garden, but Adelaide knows she was bitten and killed by a rattlesnake right there in Chambliss’ place of worship. She does not agree with Chambliss’ practices – not one little bit. So she protects the young – or tries to.
Jess Hall is nine. His father is strict and his mother is god-fearing. He has a brother, Christopher who is older but doesn’t speak. He is a mute, autistic boy who follows Jess around. Jess loves his brother. Then one day his mother takes Christopher to Chambliss’ place of worship and through a hole in the wall Jess witnesses a truly horrific event as his brother is ‘healed’ by Chambliss with catastrophic effect.
Clem Barefield is the town sheriff and knows everyone under his protection. Soon he is catapulted in to a situation that will blow the town is has sworn to protect, apart.