Gods of Howl Mountain


Bootlegger Rory Docherty has returned home to the fabled mountain of his childhood - a misty wilderness that holds its secrets close and keeps the outside world at gunpoint. Slowed by a wooden leg and haunted by memories of the Korean War, Rory runs bootleg whiskey for a powerful mountain clan in a retro-fitted '40 Ford coupe. Between deliveries to roadhouses, brothels, and private clients, he lives with his formidable grandmother, evades federal agents, and stokes the wrath of a rival runner.

In the mill town at the foot of the mountains - a hotbed of violence, moonshine, and the burgeoning sport of stock-car racing - Rory is bewitched by the mysterious daughter of a snake-handling preacher. His grandmother, Maybelline “Granny May” Docherty, opposes this match for her own reasons, believing that "some things are best left buried." A folk healer whose powers are rumored to rival those of a wood witch, she concocts potions and cures for the people of the mountains while harboring an explosive secret about Rory’s mother - the truth behind her long confinement in a mental hospital, during which time she has not spoken one word. When Rory's life is threatened, Granny must decide whether to reveal what she knows...or protect her only grandson from the past.

With gritty and atmospheric prose, Taylor Brown brings to life a perilous mountain and the family who rules it.


A story set in the 1950’s, Rory Docherty has returned from the Marines missing part of his leg in a battle in Korea. This and growing up with stories about what happened to his mother and visiting her in the hospital make up part of this story. The rest is bootlegging, running from the law in the Appalachian Mountains. You have two mystery’s one from the past and one from the present as to who is giving information to the government man as the route people are driving. They even know some of Rory tricks. You have Granny Mae who people come to when they are sick because people cannot afford a doctor. Plus she sees things as well. The story is fast-paced and full action even when he stops in at a tent revival meeting. The author brings you to a time that is definitely forgotten. There are a few moments in the story that I am reminded of an old film noir movie with Robert Mitchum, titled “Thunder Road” where that character is out of the Korean War and is a moonshine runner, in the hills and also has a treasury agent. I still watch that movie and I like this book as well. The author here adds a mystery to this story that you wonder if it will ever be solved and the author will take you all the way to the very last pages so do not stop reading. You will not be disappointed. A fabulous book with excellent characters. I received this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com

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