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Go Home, Afton


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A quirky vigilante murderess is both the hunter and the hunted in this darkly comedic psychological thriller.

I read Go Home, Afton, the first book in Brent Jones’s Afton Morrison series, in a single sitting. This 150-page gem is a delightfully dark read, sure to charm lovers of spine-tingling thrillers and off-beat comedies alike. The story follows Afton Morrison, a feisty vegetarian librarian who also happens to also be an aspiring murderer. Afton’s murderous nature is balanced by a desire to bring justice to survivors of sexual assault, which means that she comes off as a disturbed, but likable antihero instead of a heartless psychopath. In many ways, she is a female version of Dexter Morgan, the fictional vigilante serial killer who works as a blood spatter analyst, but instead of working in close proximity to blood and gore, she performs a role far removed from the murderous world she dreams about. Afton mobilizes the sexist, “passive librarian” stereotype in order to render herself the most unlikely suspect. As she remarks, “being a child and teen librarian in a town of ten thousand had its benefits. Who would ever suspect me of murder?”

The narrative is told from Afton’s point of view, which adds a great amount of interest to what could easily have been a run-of-the-mill thriller. Few books explore the minds of female killers, perhaps because their very existence pushes back on the notion that all women are biologically programmed to be kind and nurturing. In consequence, female killers are even more abhorred than their male counterparts. Jones does an excellent job imagining what might lead a woman to kill without banishing her to the realm of irredeemable social deviants (the place reserved for many fictional murderesses). Go Home, Afton also breaks the mold by selecting an unreliable female narrator whose credibility is compromised, not by substance abuse or weakness, but by the ongoing battle to appease her socially unpalatable drives, while also retaining her respectable position in the public sphere. Afton is haunted, both, by a material assailant, the mysterious “Man in the Shadows” who blocks her path to satisfaction at every turn, and by her secret evil aspect—a bloodless, spectral version of herself she lovingly calls Animus.

Although Afton’s inner life is often disturbing, the reader’s sense of fear and disgust is modulated by her acerbic wit. Afton’s narration is extremely funny; she swears like a sailor and refuses to take any crap from her sexist male colleagues. She is also chalk-full of hilarious anecdotes about her life as a small-town librarian in the digital age. As Afton explains, instead of primarily working to amass and organize distinctive literary artifacts, she is forced to spend her time babysitting unwanted children and providing technology tutorials to senior citizens. The relatable anecdotes that pepper Afton’s narrative satisfyingly intensify the reader’s sense of moral ambiguity.

The next book in the Afton Morrison series, See You Soon, Afton, is slated to be released later this summer and I, for one, can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Reviewed by

Writer, researcher, and professional book reviewer, passionate about connecting readers with inspiring, thought-provoking content. English Ph.D., specializing in 19th-century American literature and Food Studies.

Chapter 1

About the author

From bad checks to bathroom graffiti, Brent Jones has always been drawn to writing. He won a national creative writing competition at the age of fourteen, although he can’t recall what the story was about. Seventeen years later, he gave up his career to pursue creative writing full-time. view profile

Published on June 25, 2018

Published by Brent Jones

30000 words

Genre: Thriller & Suspense

Reviewed by