You have to go home again

Dark and disturbing, yet highly captivating, Matthew Stokoe’s novel Empty Mile is proof of the human heart’s complexity. Johnny Richardson is a man of regret. Fueled with guilt from his younger brother Stan’s near drowning and subsequent hypoxia—it all could have been reversed had he only been there—Johnny flees his fictional hometown of Oakridge, California (which is set in gold country, just up the hill from Sacramento), to escape to the freedom of Europe. Now, eight years later, he returns to Oakridge, only to bask in constant despair. A sadistic former best friend, a broken ex-girlfriend and a father that cannot forgive are the least of Johnny’s problems, for what unravels is a string of horrible occurrences that edge a sane person toward madness. Deeply riveting and packed with villainous characters that make Satan look like the Easter Bunny, Empty Mile is a novel that you just can’t miss.