The world is on fire
How do you view human nature? Do you take the optimistic view that a little good resides in everyone? Do you side with pessimists who expect the worst in people, even in the best of situations? In a world overflowing with senseless violence, it’s a challenge to hold the optimist’s outlook. Can anyone really deny that human beings are responsible for most of the evil shit in the world? Would a little extra love, or perhaps a better economic situation, have made any difference in extinguishing wicked tendencies?
Like his psychopathic character Zach, author Grant Palmquist wants his readers to search the darkness within their own hearts in his debut novel A Song After Dark. The book is a character study of an unrepentant killer and his unwitting accomplice. Palmquist isn’t interested in providing explanations for the evil that people do; in the scope of atrocity in the world, the real horror is that there are no comforting explanations.
Zach, born into privilege, lives a relatively easy life replete with a comfortable house, a snazzy car, and the clout that comes from being his father’s son. He also imbibes hard drugs, sex, and instances of sudden violence. Zach is the manifestation of childhood cruelty, those behaviours we’re supposed to grow out of once we start discerning right from wrong. For whatever reason, Zach never matured beyond a childhood curiosity of inflicting harm. To him, there is no right or wrong, only survival of the fittest. He acts upon his impulses, seemingly unable to control himself. The view of himself is that of a god, and we are all insects waiting to have our legs plucked off.
Norman, an average teen living in Texas, is invisible to his peers and abused by his father...