Pearl Jenkins is a nobody. She was a woman who lived as a hermit in the woods. One day, she's nowhere to be found, and all that's left behind is a pool of blood and a child no one knew existed, raised completely off the grid and in the grip of Pearl's manic paranoia.
Kateri Fisher is used to being an outsider. Now, she's the only female detective in the tiny upstate New York town of Spring Falls, where everyone knows everyone, but no one will talk. It's fitting that she takes the case that no one else wants. But as Kateri struggles to navigate the harsh rules of a new town while trying to learn the truth about the Jenkins family, only one thing becomes clear: neither she nor Pearl are as invisible as she first thought. Someone's always watching.
Unflinchingly dark and violent, THE SCAMP follows the lives of Rayelle Reed and her cousin, Khaki, young women who share the same rural, impoverished background, but have landed on vastly different paths. Rayelle, desperate to move beyond the death of her daughter, chases after her runaway cousin, Khaki, who's left a trail of blood and damage behind her as she moves across the South.
THE SCAMP confronts head on the issues of family origins, and the bonds between mothers, daughters, and sisters. It delves deep into the cycle of abuse and poverty, questioning, in the end, the value of any one life, child or adult.
"The stories in THE CONJURER are unflinching in their portrayal of humans in love and the side effects of passion—strange consummations, half-hearted substitutions, moments of grace. Pashley is a hard luck oracle, tracing portents in a world heavy with the weight of not-quite babies, truck-stop infidelities, the ghosts of June Carter and Raymond Carver and Flannery O'Connor. These beautiful stories walk the edge between bravado and poetry, creating their own weird magic. One of the characters imagines being poisoned from the inside out by gold flaked from the rim of an old coffee cup; this collection accomplishes a similar feat, a gorgeous poisoning, Pashley's language a precious lethal substance spreading into all the hidden places."—Tina May Hall