A Single Shot by Matthew F. Jones

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After the loss of his family farm, John Moon is a desperate man. A master hunter, his ability to poach game in-season or out is the only thing that stands between him and the soup kitchen line. Until Moon trespasses on the wrong land, hears a rustle in the brush, and fires a single fateful shot.

Following the bloody trail, he comes upon a shocking scene: an illegal, deep woods campground filled with drugs, bundles of cash and the body of a dead young woman, killed by Moon's stray bullet.

Faced with an ultimate dilemma, Moon has to make a choice: does he take the money and ignore his responsibility for the girl's death? Or confess?

But before he has a chance to decide, Moon finds himself on the run, pursued by those who think the money is theirs. Men who don't care about right and wrong and who want only one thing from John Moon: his body, face down in a ditch.

Matthew F. Jones' A Single Shot is a rare, visionary thriller reminiscent of the work of Tom Franklin, Ron Rash, Daniel Woodrell, and Cormac McCarthy.

About Matthew F. Jones

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Matthew F. Jones is the author of the novels Deepwater and The Elements of Hitting, Single Shot, Blind Pursuit, and Cooter Farm, each critically acclaimed. He was born in Boston and raised in rural upstate New York. He lives with his family in Charlottesville, Virginia
Published September 19, 2011 by Mulholland Books. 263 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Single Shot

Kirkus Reviews

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John's attorney, Daggard Pitt, suspects that something is up, but John can't quite bring himself to trust the lawyer (he used to work for the bank that foreclosed on his parents' farm), and he manages to dig himself a very deep hole in short order.

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Publishers Weekly

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In a starred review, PW called this story of accidental death in the Blue Ridge Mountains a ""gritty, claustrophobic blend of Jim Thompson and James Dickey."" (May)

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Book Reporter

The cat-and-mouse game that ensues between the mysterious, seemingly omnipresent pursuers as cat and the thoroughly outclassed but determined Moon as mouse creates a path of destruction through the deceptive idyllic countryside.

Dec 01 2011 | Read Full Review of A Single Shot

Publishers Weekly

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In a panic, Moon stashes the body and takes the cash, hoping to facilitate a reconciliation with his wife, only to find it's the property of Banes's sadistic boyfriend, Waylon, and his psychopathic partner, ""the Hen,"" who's linked to an unsolved local torture/murder case.

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Spinetingler Magazine

As Moon discovers who the players are that are after the clearly dirty money and they in turn figure out that he’s the one that took it, shit gets hairy and insanely exciting.

Mar 19 2012 | Read Full Review of A Single Shot

Spinetingler Magazine

But while I’m properly awed by McCarthy’s skills, I dare say A Single Shot is probably the book McCarthy wished to write – and was perhaps attempting to imitate – when he first conceived No Country.

Oct 07 2011 | Read Full Review of A Single Shot

The Christian Manifesto

Woodrell’s right, Jones wrote a powerful book that is seriously twisted with a main character that’s as deep as any reader could hope for.

Oct 10 2011 | Read Full Review of A Single Shot


Hard times have taken their toll on his marriage to pretty but sketchily drawn waitress Jess (Kelly Reilly, the first of many Brits in the cast here showing off hours spent with a dialect coach), whose taken their toddler son to live in town, leaving Moon alone in a dilapidated trailer up in the ...

Feb 09 2013 | Read Full Review of A Single Shot

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