"The Hangman Feeds the Jackal" Book Review

Written by Zach Rosenberg

Published by Nosetouch Press

the hangman feeds the jackal coy hall poster large

Written by Coy Hall
2022, 290 pages, Fiction
Released on June 7th, 2022


Hell is other people. That’s a truth the western genre knows well, and none more so than the Gothic Western. It’s a desolate wasteland where heroes do not tread lightly. Oppression, brutality and cruelty permeate every town.

Coy Hall knows Gothic Westerns. The Hangman Feeds the Jackal reads as though sprung from the fever dreams of Sergio Corbucci, channeled through the pen of Larry McMurtry with shades of Cormac McCarthy. Elijah Valero is a shade walking the land, haunted by a dark specter: the Hangman. Through the torments of the Hangman, Elijah kills an innocent victim and is left to cower in a monastery, seeking oblivion or redemption.

Neither will come easily to him. When a pair of greedy drifters come calling to terrorize a nearby town for its riches, Elijah is left to face a choice that will result in his damnation or his release. Violence is all too common in the west and human life is a cheap coin. But with the Hangman lurking at his back, Elijah knows that it can be spent for a worthy cause.

This novel is immersive. Hall lets the reader feel the desolate landscape of the old west, letting the environment become a character unto itself. The reader sinks into the sands and plains, haunted by the Hangman who may or may not be imaginary. The villains are ruthless, cutthroat scum, manipulative monsters whose only care is for silver. The kind of mean bastards who deserve hanging.

All of it conjures visions of the great Gothic Westerns, such as The Great Silence, and one can easily see the immersive prose erect a cinematic feel to the story. In the hands of a lesser writer, such things could easily fail. But Hall chooses each word carefully. The terror is that of human evil, a causeless malignity that traps the very mind of the hero. It’s a bleak, grim world with beacons of light, a scary novel that makes vastness a form of claustrophobia in how the West can trap the human mind.

Every sentence is a drop of blood, shed expertly to leave a trail the reader follows to an absolutely thrilling ending.


Overall: 4.5 Star Rating Cover
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Zach Rosenberg
Staff Reviewer
Zach Rosenberg is a fantasy and horror writer living in Florida. He appreciates the ocean, wildlife and his love of literature was constantly nurtured growing up where he practically lived in the libraries, reading every horror and fantasy book he could get his hands on. His print debut short story "The Teeth Of the Deeps" is featured in the fifth short story collection from Dead Sea Press.
Other articles by this writer


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