Discover the Dark Heart of America's Heartland

In the Dark of the Grove

By Jon Wesley Huff

The movement of the dirt around him became more pronounced. Kyle realized that he was sinking—no, being pulled—into the soil. He panicked, twisting his body against his slow descent, trying to get away from the insistent pressure of all those fingers. He screamed into the cloth stuffed into his mouth.

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A note hidden in a typewriter. A notorious last novel. All clues left behind to unlock the mystery of a town he tried to leave behind.

Essen, Indiana never felt like home to Kyle Thomas. Now, as he returns fifteen years after he was kicked out for being gay, he finds it stranger than ever. His novelist father, days after releasing his newest book—Dunbar’s Grove—committed suicide. And most people think his father’s book was a thinly-disguised confession to the murder of Kyle’s mother years before.

A mysterious note in his father’s old typewriter points to a secret the town is keeping. did this little town in the middle of nowhere get so much money? What does the elite Minty Green Club have to do with it?

Kyle decides to put his investigative journalist skills to the test, reconnecting with old friends and running into old foes. The closer he gets to the town’s secrets, the fewer people he can trust and the more every trail seems to lead to the mysterious grove of trees outside of town.

Watch, Read, or Listen to the Prologue and Chapter 1

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Dark Nostalgia

Growing up, I did have some of that small-town childhood people get nostalgic for in stories like Stranger Things. But the truth is, getting the benefits of that depended a lot on who you are. At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is for the reader to have fun and get creeped out by the book. But it made for an interesting journey as I was writing it. I love books that peel back the curtain, in a way, on “normal” life. My goal was to really try to evoke that.


” I sold the book as ‘Stephen King, but gay’ and that’s about the best, quick summary I can think of still. Small town horror with a queer POV.”

Jon Wesley HUFF
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