Book: The Open Curtain

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The Open Curtain: A Novel

Author: Brian Evenson
Publisher: Coffee House Press

When Rudd, a troubled teenager, embarks on a school project, he runs across a series of articles from the 1902 New York Times chronicling a vicious murder committed by the grandson of Brigham Young. Delving deeply into the Mormon ritual of blood sacrifice used in the murders, Rudd, along with his newly discovered half-brother, Lael, becomes swept up in the psychological and atavistic effects of this violent, antique ritual.

As the past and the present become an increasingly tangled knot, Rudd is found at the scene of a multiple murder at a remote campsite with minor injuries and few memories. Lyndi, the daughter of the victims, tries to help Rudd recover his memory and, together, they find a strength unique to survivors of terrible tragedies. But Rudd, desperate to protect Lyndi and unable to let the past be still, tries to manipulate their Mormon wedding ceremony to trick the priests (and God) by giving himself and Lyndi new secret names-names that match the killer and the victim in the one hundred-year-old murder. The nightmare has just begun…

Winner of the International Horror Guild Award, Brian Evenson is a master of the psychological literary thriller. He is no stranger to controversy, and his first book, Altmann’s Tongue, caused a stir when it was first published, resulting in his resignation from Brigham Young University and eventual excommunication from the Mormon Church. In this unflinching, tautly constructed novel, Evenson provides a chilling perspective on the legacy and manifestations of sectarian violence.

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