SYNOPSIS –Bounty Hunter Ellis Hardigree is charged with apprehending a fugitive that’s holed up New Eden, a closeted community in the North Georgia mountains. Ellis soon finds out there’s more to Moses Bailey and New Eden that meets the eye. The entire town takes family relations to a forbidden extreme, and employs a lethal take-no-prisoners policy when it comes to trespassers. Befriended by a dysfunctional family in nearby Tunnel Hill, Ellis makes a desperate attempt to bring Moses to justice.
The theme of deception resonates throughout the novel as Moses uses Scripture to deceive and manipulate his offspring. He frequently quotes the Tanakh in legitimizing his edicts among his clan, and uses it as a form of mind control to subjugate his brood. The author negotiates the sexual minefield as best he can though we are given enough of a glimpse to see how Bailey uses sex as an enticement to keep his followers happy. We also see how Sheriff Waylon Brunswick appears willing to help Ellis take Moses down, though in reality he is promoting a personal agenda. It is a backwoods drama in the tradition of Deliverance, with Ellis trying to survive in a world a century apart from reality.
Tucker’s storyline is authentic and allows the narrative to flow smoothly as we watch the characters develop and the tension build towards the major conflict between the denizens of Tunnel Hill and the Bailey-dominated New Eden community. It reaches a climactic conclusion as Spencer Lee Heath enters the fray and threatens to end the hunt once and forever. Spencer who? Well, neighbor, pick up a copy of Splits in the Skin by John Tucker and see for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.