When tragedy repeatedly strikes brilliant and hitherto fortunate Will Bellman, he is drawn into a complex reckoning born of a thoughtless childhood act-- the casual slaying of a rook. An alchemical combination of down-to-earth storytelling and compelling magical realism. In brilliantly crafted prose, Setterfield lays out a story not quite mystery, not quite fantasy, but a literary combination of both.— Ty
November 2013 Indie Next List
“A stone thrown, a bird killed - this single thoughtless act committed as a boy will shadow William Bellman for the rest of his life. Setterfield's atmospheric new novel follows William's seemingly charmed life through successes, marriage, and fatherhood, until the sudden appearance of a stranger in black signals a change in the trajectory of William's good fortune. With echoes of Dickens, Poe, and Grimm, Setterfield's tale offers fascinating historical details even as it raises the hairs on the back of the reader's neck.”
— Kristine Kaufman, The Snow Goose Bookstore, Stanwood, WA
This document, dear friend, will shatter the Church...
As a boy, William Bellman commits one small, cruel act: killing a bird with his slingshot. Little does he know the unforeseen and terrible consequences of the deed, which is soon forgotten amidst the riot of boyhood games. By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, William seems to be a man blessed by fortune--until tragedy strikes and the stranger in black comes. Then he starts to wonder if all his happiness is about to be eclipsed. Desperate to save the one precious thing he has left, William enters into a rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner, to found a decidedly macabre business. And Bellman & Black is born.