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You can never go home again.

Whether as caution or lament, the adage meant nothing to Addie Decker because when Addie left the rural Southwest for college in Los Angeles, she vowed never to return. But when her grandmother’s death calls Addie back, she confronts a landscape both familiar and foreign as a sudden boom in gas development threatens her family’s ranching heritage even as it promises vital prosperity to her old hometown.

With her lover in tow, her high school sweetheart in waiting, and a sagebrush militia lurking in the wings, Addie will learn difficult lessons about loyalty and family while navigating a minefield of greed and obstinacy, love and violence.

The Big Thrill caught up to award-winning author C. Joseph Greaves to learn more about his latest novel, CHURCH OF THE GRAVEYARD SAINTS:

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

Didactic without being polemic, CHURCH OF THE GRAVEYARD SAINTS is first and foremost a compelling story—in one sense a love story—set against the backdrop of man’s insatiable greed, even at the expense of the environment in which we live. It seeks to educate while it entertains, elevating story above all else.

What attracts you to this book’s genre?

CHURCH OF THE GRAVEYARD SAINTS is not a thriller per se, but rather a work of commercial/literary fiction with eco-thriller elements. This represents a departure from my five previous novels, which either were legal mysteries or stories based on real historical events. As I enter my sixth decade, I wanted to write a book that spoke directly to the times in which I lived, and the environmental movement generally—and climate fiction in particular—certainly fit that bill.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

It’s been said that in the next decade, all fiction will be climate fiction. How could it not? My hope is that by setting a morality tale of resource extraction versus environmental protection in the fragile ecosystem of the American Southwest I’ll have enlightened readers to the ongoing battle for the very future of our planet.


C. Joseph Greaves has been a finalist for most of the major awards in crime fiction including the Shamus, Macavity, Lefty, and Audie, as well as the New Mexico-Arizona, Oklahoma, and Colorado Book Awards. He is the author of five previous novels including Hard Twisted and Tom & Lucky, the latter a Wall Street Journal “Best Books of 2015” selection and finalist for the 2016 Harper Lee Prize.

To learn more about the author and his work, please visit his website.


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