How do you find your way when meaning and direction have been gutted from the world? Billy began with a purpose—perhaps naive, perhaps idealistic—but now he just needs to learn to survive in this new feral geography where rules and institutions have crumbled, freedoms eroded, hope and prosperity evaporated in drought, tempest, inferno. This is not a distant future nor even an implausible one. This is the lowercase apocalypse.
Billy, having set out on the deteriorating rail lines to discover what went wrong with his universe, navigates tomorrow’s harrowing landscape, encountering outlaws and vagabonds and even the occasional savior who might help him or might hinder him—but none will leave him unscathed. One tells him of an enigmatic figure who could have the answers he’s seeking. And one is a woman . . .
Through Jill’s checkered past we steal a glimpse into the world’s malaise. With her, we plumb her inner darkness. We weave through the shadowed corridors of her loves and losses and qualified triumphs and unmitigated failures . . . And we ride for a time inside the leprous mind of the man she’s hunting.
In their brief random meeting, Jill has seeped like indelible ink under Billy’s skin, staining or sustaining him. But she abandons him in an act of compassion or cruelty or maybe callous indifference. Powerless to resist, he finds himself compelled to pursue her across a desiccate terrain where dark revelations await them both.
Just out: the Kirkus Review of Between Trains. Read it at Kirkus .