We are pleased to announce our newest historical thriller based on the true events leading up to the 1912 Hillsville shootout, A Bad and Dangerous Man by Brett Lovell.
What to Expect inside…
In 1911, a young man reignites a bitter political feud when he kisses the wrong girl at a corn shucking in the rural Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. Old grudges collide with corrupt politicians and culminate in a massacre inside of the county courthouse. The authorities blame members of the Allen Clan, a family of fiercely independent outlaws and moonshiners led by their patriarch, Floyd Allen, a violent man with a vile temper. The Governor of Virginia calls the shootout “the greatest crime in the history of Virginia, perhaps of the United States” and sends the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency to lead the manhunt after the sheriff, prosecutor, and judge are murdered in the courtroom.
Four people are entangled in the aftermath of the shootout; Wesley Edwards, an ambitious but aimless young man pulled into a feud that started when he was a child; Sidna Allen, a successful businessman enjoying the good life until loyalty to family threatens to ruin him; Edwin Payne, a detective who must choose between the truth or his career; and Maude Iroler, a young woman who can bring her community’s ordeal to an end. Betrayal and vengeance lurk in every narrow valley and dark hollow as Sidna Allen and his nephew are pursued by the ruthless Baldwin-Felts detectives.
What folks are saying…
“A Bad and Dangerous Man is a taut, gripping novel about a simpler time that isn’t simple at all in the hardscrabble landscape of the Virginia mountains. This debut is packed with all the elements of a great, Southern burner: greed, murder, and an unforgettable cast of moonshiners and outlaws.”
—Scott Blackburn, author of It Dies With You
“In Brett Lovell’s A Bad and Dangerous Man, family ties become snares that pull an entire community apart. A simple flirtation lights a fuse that culminates in the historic shootout at the Carroll County Courthouse. As Payne, a detective fresh out of union-busting for the mining companies, pursues Sidra Allen and his nephew, he realizes what the reader gets from the start. There are no ‘good guys,’ but neither are the bad ones so very ‘bad and dangerous.’ Even knowing some of the major historical moments, I couldn’t turn away from the cat-and-mouse pursuit. In some ways the inevitably of the shootout made it an even more compelling read. Lovell delves deep into the inner world of the Allen family—men and women, their community allies, and their political rivals, bringing the blood-soaked past to life in rich and compelling detail.”
—Sarah Warburton, author of You Can Never Tell and Once Two Sisters
“In A Bad and Dangerous Man, Lovell weaves an intricate history of outlaws, betrayals, and vengeance, of blood spilled and binding, with the precision of an architect and the grace of a poet.”
—Meagan Lucas, author of Songbirds and Stray Dogs
“Brett Lovell skillfully navigates the ruthless real-world events of the 1912 Hillsville, Virginia Massacre to create a compelling novel filled with revenge, violence, and — ultimately — redemption. A Bad and Dangerous Man marks the debut of a powerful new voice in Appalachian fiction.”
—Bobby Mathews, author of Living the Gimmick
“Brett Lovell’s debut historical fiction novel is well-paced, beautifully written, and chock-full of intriguing mountain lore. A Bad and Dangerous Man will quickly suck you in and ferry you into the twisting mines and hollers of Appalachia—straight through to its heartbreaking conclusion. You will remember Wesley, Sidna, Floyd, and Claude long after the final scene. If you’re a fan of Appalachian fiction, you need this book on your bookshelf!”
—C.W. Blackwell, author of Hard Mountain Clay
About the Author
Brett Lovell lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia with his wife and two young children. He grew up near Hillsville, Virginia a few miles from where the events chronicled in his debut novel, A Bad and Dangerous Man took place..