Not since Night of the Hunter has Davis Grubb had a subject that allows for the full play of all his talents the way this book does. His style is a rhythmic, King Jamesian flow of words exactly suited to his vision of a Southern landscape populated with near-grotesques, believable because they are recognizable. These characters walked out of yesterday's headlines and the present action, as well as the firmly controlled flashbacks employed, call to mind the Emmett Till case. Loy Wilson murders a sassy Negro youngster for the suggestive phrase and look the boy directed at Mrs. Wilson in their small town store. But his immediate reason has a genealogy stretching back to a childhood and young manhood that reveal the brooding social, economic and sexual pressures which can form a dedicated Klansman capable of murdering a child. This part of Loy's story is dominated by a father of Old Testament power and rectitude, a fully realized figure in a fictional frame that remains a novel, is never a tract. The accidental witnesses to the murder were Loy's only daughter and her boyfriend. Their sense of sin and their real need to escape mounts to a horror that arrives at the same dreamlike state of suspense investing Night of the Hunter. The book could translate to the screen as it stands, but a heavy advance of 12,000 orders announced by the publisher assures a successful book on a subject that often has more emotional/critical approval than commercial appeal.