In Jones’ bloody novel, a pair of violent criminals travels from Texas to New York, murdering, raping and robbing as they go.
Everyone used to say that Taylor Osborn would become a preacher, but after his family is murdered, he drops out of college to become a pimp. His childhood friend Dogg, who murdered his own entire family except for his mother, becomes Taylor’s bodyguard. When the two rob and murder a cop’s brother, they decide that New York is the best place to disappear. At their first stop, a cheap hotel, they pick up some girls, and Dogg proceeds to beat his date to death with a baseball bat. Taylor, meanwhile, ties up his date, and he and Dogg set her on fire with lighter fluid, leaving her in the bathtub to burn alive. Couldn’t the motel clerk identify them? No, he was too busy raping and murdering a girl of his own. This sequence of events gives a fair taste of the remainder of the book. As the dreary, violent, disgusting episodes pile up, it becomes less a novel than a sordid record of random sadism. One criminal after another—met on the journey or in the prison where Taylor and Dogg wind up—is introduced seemingly for no other reason than to augment the list of grisly murders, the body count stratospherically rising. Whole families die; the deaths of teenage girls, 2-year-olds, even infants are described with numbing sameness. The narrative also displays some strangely misinformed ideas of female sexuality, STDs, forensic evidence and the criminal justice system, amid a timeline that’s a bit confused. The affectless prose can be disturbing, too. For example, after the description of a violent rape: “His blood was running hot as he stabbed her eight more times, penetrating the pericardium, which is the covering of her heart and the area surrounding her lungs.”
Violent overkill that’ll be too much for most readers.