In the sleepy town of Tickenaley, Georgia, they call the thirty minutes between day and night Dark Thirty. The memory of daylight lingers, but falling darkness brings with it haze, change and uncertainty. One day at Dark Thirty Jesse Wade, in high spirits, carrying a birthday gift for his beloved grandson, returns home to a scene of unspeakable horror. His entire family---wife, children, grandchild---have been savagely slain. In one slashing moment, the life of this decent, loving, home-rooted man is torn apart forever.
Not since In Cold Blood has a book probed so deeply and so powerfully into the human drama that a senseless act of savagery leaves in its wake---the agony of Jesse Wade, the panic of the towns people, the burden of the lawyers who must defend the killers, and the encroachment of the news media, exploiting it all. As the story unfolds, Terry Kay also dramatically brings to light the complex social issues we all face in a violent time: justice vs. vengeance, the failings of our legal system, capital punishment. In this beautifully written, deeply felt novel, Terry Kay chillingly juxtaposes the pastoral beauty of Appalachia and the traditional values of small-town America with the spreading stain of evil that threatens us all.
“Terry Kay plunges deeply into the complex and maddening question of justice and emerges with a work whose qualities are those of true art: the capacity to remain in the reader’s mind, vexing him, illuminating him, and making him part of a human situation he cannot ignore.
-James Dickey, author of Deliverance
“Not since Deliverance has the dark power and mystery of Appalachia been so keenly evoked. Dark Thirty is a stunning, brilliant novel, and Terry Kay is simply one of the best novelists now practicing the craft.”
-Pat Conroy, author of The Lords of Discipline, The Great Santini