THE TOLL (2017)

I mostly know of Cherie Priest as a steampunk novelist, but THE TOLL is one wild, southern gothic weird fiction tale. It kicks off with newlyweds Titus and Melanie driving to honeymoon in the Okenfenokee Swamp. They drive over a bridge and then Titus wakes up, prone, outside his car. Melanie is nowhere to be found. He ventures to the nearest town, Staywater, for help, and matters only get stranger.

Priest peppers her characters with plenty of verve, especially two older sisters who happen to be two extremely badass geriatric witches. If you scrutinize the events and actions, it doesn’t exactly hang together, and the conclusion might feel a tad unsatisfying depending on what you expect, but the journey is a damn rip-roaring time.