Ed Protzel

Scintillating Fiction—Touching Hearts, Sparking Imagination

The Lies That Bind

DARKHORSE TRILOGY, BOOK 1

A deliciously atmospheric Southern Gothic thriller in which no one is who he—or she—pretends to be.

Broke and despondent, trickster Durksen Hurst returns to Mississippi seeking redemption for his disreputable past — and maybe some glory. When he encounters a dozen hungry slaves hiding in the wilds, he persuades them to build a plantation with him — a scheme that will threaten the town’s dominant family: the brilliant, mad Widow French and her tortured son, Devereau.

When Antoinette DuVallier, a mysterious woman from New Orleans with unknown ties to the Frenches, arrives desperately seeking her missing boy, long-buried secrets are exposed that tear asunder the once-sleepy hamlet.

As the tangled webs of deceit unravel, each startling revelation shines a fresh light on what it means to be a man or a woman, free or enslaved — indeed, on what it means to be human.


"a gripping tale for fans of Southern fiction, and a story of deceit, slavery, and dangerous complicities....The reader is pulled into a world of deceit, greed, and lies..."
- Readers' Favorite (5 Stars; Sept. 2017)

"The action and drama are compelling from the first page to the exciting conclusion. Highly recommended, and I am anxious to read the next installment."
- Historical Novel Society Magazine, Issue 77 (August 2016)

"...deftly crafted and consistently compelling....strongly recommended for community library Historical Fiction collections."
- Midwest Book Review, Small Press Bookwatch, Vol 15,  July 2016

And on Amazon ...
"... an entertaining and complexly plotted pre-Civil War novel about fairness and decency versus slavery and greed."

- Terry Baker Mulligan, author of Afterlife in Harlem

"...Here’s a novel that entertains with its gamesmanship: The central conceit of playing chess requires careful attention, but attention that doesn’t require the reader to burn brain cells."
- Dick Friedrich, professor, editor, author



Get a sense of The Lies That Bind in the trailer below.


© Copyright 2017 Ed Protzel