The Only Good Indians

Saga: S. & S. May 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781982136451. $26.99. Horror.
Ten years prior to the start of this story, four young Blackfeet went hunting on tribal lands normally reserved only for the elders and ended up killing a female Elk, oddly pregnant during the wrong time of year. Now, as adults with families and responsibilities, the men still carry the heavy guilt of that day, as well they should—the spirit of the Elk has been waiting to make each one of them pay the ultimate price. This classic tale of revenge horror oscillates among eerie moments, violent action, and an overarching sense of dread. With close narrations from three of the four men, one of their teen daughters, and the Elk herself, there is an intensity, a breathless desperation that lurks just under the story’s surface, giving the sense that everything that is about to happen, no matter how terrible, is inevitable and cannot be stopped. It is also a heartbreakingly beautiful story about hope and survival, grappling with themes of cultural identity, family, and traditions.
VERDICT One of the most anticipated horror titles of 2020, Jones’s latest does not disappoint. While fully entrenched within the genre, its well-developed cast, lyrical language, and heightened suspense will have broad appeal. Fans of Paul Tremblay, Victor LaValle, and Samanta Schweblin will be delighted.

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