To Dust You Shall Return

To Dust You Shall Return

A town ruled by evil. A man ruled by darkness. Only one can survive. ... more

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A town ruled by evil. A man ruled by darkness. Only one can survive.

Curtis Quinn is a Chicago mob legend with a particular set of skills and price on his head. When the woman he loves disappears, Curtis follows her trail to the occult town of Harlow, where no one is allowed to leave and residents live under the autocratic regime of an enigmatic, sinister ruler known only as "the Mayor." 

Beth Jarvis is a plucky teenager unwrapping the secrets of her hometown–Harlow–and the mysterious ceremony that awaits her on her eighteenth birthday. What Beth doesn't know is the truth about her sister Kate, who escaped their strange town over a decade ago and has evaded the Mayor and his disciples ever since.

What Curtis doesn't know is that Kate is the woman he's fallen in love with, and she's running from a threat far greater than the mobsters who want to kill him. His fate collides with Beth's as she tries to escape Harlow and the disgusting fate that awaits here, and Curtis finds himself unraveling a mystery that leads to an impossible and terrifying conclusion–that the Mayor of Harlow is more than just a man, and the hardest target he's ever tried to kill.

Fred Venturini was born in Patoka, Illinois. His short fiction has been published in the Booked Anthology, Noir at the Bar 2, and Surreal South '13. His story "Gasoline" is featured in Chuck...more


"Venturini doesn't write in words and sentences. Instead, he lines the page with barbwire, concertina wire and spike strips that deliver the story deep into the reader's skin."

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Chuck Palahniuk

"To Dust You Shall Return is a sprawling, haunting, unsettling story of hunger, abuse, and power. The vibe is Angel Heart meets The Walking Dead, via a Southern Gothic filter that oozes with a depraved history and terrible secrets. Welcome to the horror of Fred Venturini, one of my favorite authors writing today."

Richard Thomas, Bram Stoker, Shirley Jackson, and Thriller Award nominated author of Disintegration and Breaker

“To Dust You Shall Return is a wildly entertaining, mythic-level battle royale fought between a monstrous hitman with a busted spirit and a wanna-be king with supernatural powers. When the two forces collide on the small-town stage of Harlow, blood bursts from the dust like geysers and you can hear the bones snapping from outer space. Venturini has created a modern-day clash of the titans, an epic tale of revenge that’s more Penny Dreadful than Homer and has the body count to prove it. A masterful tour-de-force of violence and terror; a gruesome, gory reveal of the dark which lies hidden deep within the meat of the human heart.”

Philip Fracassi, author of Beneath a Pale Sky

"TO DUST YOU SHALL RETURN is a masterclass in frenetic, frayed-nerve horror storytelling [p]ulsing with chaotic intensity and soaked in malice."

Taylor Zajnic, award-winning author of The Maw

“A horror thriller about redemption, family, and trust, To Dust You Shall Return is a brilliant mix of genres that is at once both terrifying and thrilling. Venturini again delivers complex and unforgettable characters in Curtis Quinn and Beth Jarvis, blending the violent secrets of a small town’s characters into a captivating story with an ending you won’t soon forget.”

Michael Nye, author of Until We Have Faces and All the Castles Burned

"Reminiscent of a Twilight Zone episode...[Venturini] keeps us engaged until the spellbinding conclusion..and cements his legacy within the horror genre."

Horror News Net