The Down River People by Adam Smith

A dark Southern tale hums along nicely until an unexpected and confusing hard turn in the plot.


Publisher’s Blurb

In order to keep his father’s speakeasy afloat, Myers unwittingly gets caught up in his family’s ties to the occult.

Myers Carpenter is a bootlegger who just inherited his family’s bar, The Flatbed. Unsure of whether or not he even wants to keep the famous speakeasy, Myers is forced to find a new booze supplier when he burns his bridges at his long time source in Mississippi. The only option he can turn to is his estranged mother, a woman he hasn’t seen since he was a young boy, now running a fishing Lodge for the wealthy; and a half sister he knew nothing about. As Myers becomes more entangled in the lives of his newfound family, he begins to learn the secrets of the Lodge and a dark cult thriving just under the surface of wealth and opulence.

Adam Smith and Matt Fox, the acclaimed creative team behind Long Walk to Valhalla, reunite for a gripping southern gothic thriller about finding your family and the true cost of happiness


The first act of The Down River People tells the story of a young man in pain. His father has just committed suicide and he wants to keep his dad’s bar open. He has to head with suppling the booze through a dry county and a host of other issues. It’s at this moment that his estranged mother shows up. All this works for me: the community coming together for Myers, the grief he’s dealing with, and the renewed connection with his mother. What happens next is confusing… a series of disjointed dream sequences tied to her mother’s new family’s church.

Take a minute and look and this sneak peek. There are some very good things to say about the artwork and the color palette.

This book had a lot of potential for me and Smith’s note at the end of the book reveals some of his inspiration. I just couldn’t see the whole arc work together.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, Boom Studios, and the author for an advanced copy for review.

2 thoughts on “The Down River People by Adam Smith

Add yours

  1. I have been approved by NetGalley for this story but haven’t downloaded or read it yet. From the description, it vaguely reminded me of a supernatural version of Once Upon A River by Bonnie Jo Campbell.

    Liked by 1 person

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