Glenn Taylor

Johanna Lawshea

Glenn Taylor is the author of the novels The Marrowbone Marble Company and The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He teaches at West Virginia University. A Hanging at Cinder Bottom: A Novel (Tin House Books) is his latest book. The year is 1910. Halley’s Comet has just signaled the end of the world. Keystone, West Virginia, is the region’s biggest boomtown, and on a rainy Sunday morning in August, Abe Baach and Goldie Toothman are at the gallows, awaiting their execution. He’s Keystone’s most famous poker player; she’s the madam of its most infamous brothel. Abe split town seven years prior under suspicion of armed robbery and murder, and has been playing cards up and down the coast, hustling under a variety of pseudonyms, ever since. But when he returns to Keystone to reunite with Goldie and to set the past right, he finds a brother dead and his father’s saloon in shambles―and suspects the same men might be responsible for both. Only then, in facing his family’s past, does the real swindle begin.