Bantam, June 2004, 5.99, 227 pp.
As much of a hold Thomas has on Kingdom Come, an inbred small town located in the Deep South, Kingdom Come in turn has as strong a hold on Thomas. His brothers Are Siamese twins that share a brain but have separate faces and bodies are his responsibility as is the mill of which he and the brothers are the owners. Thomas, the only mobile somewhat sane one, makes sure it is making a profit for it is the only source of income the town has.
Except for incest it's a place where anything goes. Thomas loves the woman who takes care of someone he once loved, but evil times are ahead for him as he learns why she spends all her time in the swamp. A child killer who Thomas left to die in the swamp returns to take his revenge and he finds the body of the child that the murderer killed with the body of his mother locked away in a trunk in a long forgotten room. His brothers disappear and the father he thought dead is alive though not of sound mind. Unable to solve the town's problems, Thomas quits feeling he is the savior of Kingdom's Come and in doing so finds his own freedom.
The main character in CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN is the town of Kingdoms Come; a place that represents all the depravities that mankind is known to have accumulated as if Pandora opened the box here. Tom Piccirilli's dark gothic is frightening because it vividly exposes a way of life most people find abhorrent.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner