Click here to read reviewer Luan Gaines' take on Master of the Delta.
Jack Branch, raised in the upper echelons of Southern aristocracy, has come back to his roots in Lakeland to teach at the local public high school “to render service to the people over whom my family had maintained a long dominion.” There he teaches a specialty English course on evil, assigning his students a paper based on a person, real or fictional, who is evil.
As it turns out, an unfortunate boy - Eddie Miller, who like much of the class hails from the hardscrabble section of town known as The Bridges - is the son of the famed Coed Killer. Eddie was just a boy when the murder happened and doesn’t remember a whole lot about his father, but he has lived under the man’s stigma all his life. Jack takes the boy under his wing and encourages him to write his paper on the killer, hoping it might be therapeutic. As Eddie digs deeper into his father’s past, Jack begins to question the boy’s motives and eventually realizes his well-intentioned actions have stirred up some deadly consequences.
In Master of the Delta, award-winning author Thomas H. Cook weaves foreboding tension into the plot right from the very start, hinting that things will not end well. But put on your thinking caps: Cook’s complex prose gives the impression that there is deeper meaning behind each sentence, which leaves the reader wondering if he or she has missed an important point. As the text switches between the past and the present, including court documents, the plot can sometimes be confusing.
This book will not appeal to those looking for a light read but will definitely be a page-turner for those who enjoy putting a lot of thought into their literary entertainment.