That Bright Land
Winner of the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Prize.
A new Southern gothic thriller from the winner of the 2012 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction.
In the Summer of 1866, Jacob Ballard, a former Union soldier and spy, is dispatched by the War Department in Washington City to infiltrate the isolated North Carolina mountain community where he was born and find the serial killer responsible for the deaths of Union veterans. Based on true events, That Bright Land is the story of a violent and fragile nation in the wake of the Civil War and a man who must exorcise his own savage demons while tracking down another.
"Ballard’s struggle for identity parallels that of the remote, mountainous region of North Carolina, which will complicate his future. That Bright Land deserves an A for the sympathetic protagonist, intelligent love story, and well-crafted plot, but Ballard’s discovery of his own roots, after years of homelessness and war, makes it an A+. Highly recommended."―Historical Novel Society
"Terry Roberts, who lives in Asheville and has deep roots in the mountain region, gives us a fine book that’s at once a vivid historical novel with an unforgettable setting, a murder mystery and thriller, and a believable, mature romance. There’s good reason that the book’s back cover bears testimonials from Fred Chappell, Robert Morgan and Ron Rash, three esteemed authors with ties to the same mountains. Roberts’ book deserves to be on the shelf with theirs, as well as with those of John Ehle, to whom the book is dedicated." ―Greensboro News