The Thicket Review
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Smallpox takes out most of the population in Hinge Gate, Texas, including Jack and Lula Parker’s parents. Their grandfather sets out to deliver them to their aunt in Kansas—but they don’t make it.

After a river twister tosses everyone into the water during a ferry crossing, Jack climbs ashore just in time to see a gang of criminals taking off with his sister. Since Lula is the only kin he has left—except for the aunt he’s never met—Jack follows after her.

Along the way, he encounters a bounty hunter turned grave digger named Eustace Cox and offers him a deal to help get his sister back. Eustace won’t do it without Reginald “Shorty” Jones, a midget who always has his back, even though they’re constantly bickering. They also pick up a smelly, angry hog and a whore named Jimmie Sue, who wants to get out of the business.

Jack begins to wonder what he’s gotten himself into as each of his companions shows a peculiar side that doesn’t set too well with his Christian upbringing. But he’ll do what it takes to get Lula back—even if he has to head into the infamous Thicket, where the most heinous of criminals hide.

Only one word can adequately describe The Thicket: awesome. At times hilarious and jaw-droppingly crazy, The Thicket will take you on a journey unlike any you’ve ever been on. Those with sensitive natures need not apply; these characters are at their most human—especially when it comes to sin.

Jack will often make you grind your teeth as he steadfastly clings to his purity, but you’ll admire both his spirit and his willingness to try to get back his sister with as little bloodshed as possible—even if the criminals have committed so many atrocious acts that you’ll begin to wonder why God hasn’t struck them dead already.

Eustace and Shorty are such unique characters that you’ll fall in love with them despite their sinful nature and their pessimistic outlook on life, love, and God. You’ll know that they’re good at heart, even when they’re reluctant to show it. These are some of the best flawed characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of getting to know.

Plenty of laughs are interwoven with the seriousness of a brutal time in history to help lighten this twisted tale of lost innocence that’s set against the backdrop of an untamed Texas territory. Don’t miss this one!

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