Chosen by David Prestidge as his top crime book of 2013, A Land More Kind Than home was a debut novel for Wiley Cash. There is crime, and crime of the darkest kind, but for atmosphere, a sense of brooding evil disguised as piety, and the feeling that far from being liberated by a rural landscape of hills, forests and open skies, the residents are prisoners of their own isolation. Cash tells a tale of courage, compassion and bravery shown by ordinary North Carolina people in the face of deceit, corruption and delusion. This is both a rite of passage novel, and a revealing searchlight on the grimy world of religious fundamentalism. A Land More Kind Than Home deserves to transcend the crime fiction genre, and be recognised as a great work of literary fiction.