A Town Called Immaculate

Peter Anthony

05 September 2008
304 pages


When bankrupt farmer Ray Marak saves the life of his friend and banker, Josh Werther, neither they nor their neighbours can imagine what the night will bring.

Still traumatised by his time in Vietnam, Ray’s world has shrunk – to the boundaries of his small hometown of Immaculate, and the warmth of his adored family: his young sons Jacob and Ethan, and his wife Renee; Renee, the woman who waited for him during his wartime hell.

But as the snow accumulates, so do the townspeople’s stories, and the suspicions Ray has harboured for years start to resurface, along with his demons. As midnight approaches, and young Jacob vanishes into the deadly storm, Ray realises that Josh’s generosity has been motivated by something more than neighbourly kindness. Snow, it seems, can bury everything but the past; hour by hour, as Christmas Day approaches, Ray Marak begins to lose control. A Town Called Immaculate is a haunting novel about family and fidelity, and the fragility of the things we take for granted

'With its terse emotions, rural dysfunction and sharply comic moments, this suspenseful debut shares midwestern ambience and territory with the Coen brothers’ Fargo. An array of strong characters gives a bright, nervy edge to Anthony’s fresh prose' - James Urquhart, Financial Times

'A commendable debut' - Simon Baker, Literary Review