"This bite-size tale packs an outsize punch." —Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
When the Southern Tier Strangler, a serial killer taking victims across the Rust Belt, winds up dead on Bina Morton's autoliner, she finds herself caught in a murder mystery in reverse: This murderer is an estranged man from her rural New York hometown and the mother that abandoned her might have been one of his early victims. The events that follow force Bina to confront buried memories of home, the woman her mother truly was, and everything Bina herself left behind.
Part of the 2023 Neon Hemlock Novella Series
Joan Tierney is a writer and flight attendant based out of Philadelphia. Her works can be found in a variety of magazines and airports, and her science fiction collection Letters From the End of the World can be found on Lulu. Her novella The Killing Grounds is part of Neon Hemlock's 2023 Novella Series.
"The discovery and death of a serial killer brings the unspoken dramas of an outside-of-the-law small town into focus in this intricate but efficient horror novella ... There's just as much gore and death as horror readers will expect, though it's never gratuitous, and Tierney makes a great and successful effort to equally depict the complex relationships between Bina and her family. By balancing the emotionally resonant with the frightening and bloody, this bite-size tale packs an outsize punch." - Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"A thrilling read. If you like Elizabeth Hand, you'll love Joan Tierney." - E. Catherine Tobler, author of The Necessity of Stars
"I could not put this book down. The Killing Grounds is a scintillating story of murder, family, and coming home again. You'll be shocked, saddened, and horrified along the way." - Eboni Dunbar, author of Stone and Steel
"A gritty, suffocatingly immersive small town tale about the bloody shrapnel that remains after the murderer's come and gone—a brilliant and haunting read." - Anya Ow, author of Cradle and Grave and Ion Curtain
"Horrifying, heartbreaking and deeply moving all at once, The Killing Grounds will keep readers turning the pages. The plot is dark and gripping, the characters are complex and authentic, and the writing is compelling and smooth. I look forward to more from Joan Tierney." - Lori Duffy Foster, author of the Lisa Jamison Mystery series