The Hodderscape Review Project: The First Stone, by Elliott Hall
By Anne Perry
Posted on June 26, 2014 in Books with tags Elliott Hall
Yesterday we ran an essay by Elliott Hall, author of this month’s Review Project title The First Stone. Today we’d like to introduce you to the book itself, via Digital Editor Dom Gribben. Dom, take it away…
It’s my great pleasure to announce the Hodderscape Review Project for June 2014 is The First Stone by Elliott Hall.
The first installment in a trilogy of novels, The First Stone is a noir-tinged dystopian vision of a nightmarish near-future America governed by ultra-conservative Christian extremists.
Following the nuclear destruction of Houston by forces unknown, the president created a Council of Elders, a committee of leaders from the religious right charged with the task of steering the nation back towards the path of righteousness. Granted unprecedented power over the over legislature and with a private army to enforce their Old Testament morality, the Elders quickly became the secret rulers of the new America.
Felix Strange is well acquainted with the Elders’ worldview having served in the armed forces during the ‘Great Patriotic Crusade’ against Iran. Injured during the annihilation of Tehran and suffering from a mysterious and potentially fatal condition that the military refuses to acknowledge, Strange scrapes a living as a private detective.
When we meet him at the beginning of The First Stone, he’s been called into consult on the murder of a very prominent religious leader, but as with all good detective stories, this crime is just the tip of an iceberg of murder, lies and intrigue.
The First Stone pays homage to greats such as Chandler, Hammett and Ellroy but is very much an original take on the genre featuring vividly drawn characters and set in an imaginative and brilliantly realised world. Trust me, it will leave you wanting more.