In 1891, in the little Alabama town of Mitcham' s Beat, a politician is mysteriously murdered. Seeking retribution, his outraged friends form a secret society, " Hell at the Breach, " to punish the Democrats they believe are responsible. Dressed in hoods, they wage a bloody two-year reign of terror -- dubbed the Mitcham Beat War-- that culminates in the killing of a merchant on Christmas Day. At the center of the conflict are four people: a young gang-member with a terrible secret; an aging sheriff determined to stop the violence even if he must break the law he upholds; a cold-blooded private detective; and an old midwife who witnesses the destruction first hand. Based on a real-life event that involved his own ancestors, Tom Franklin offers an incandescent recounting of this tragic conflict. Written in liquid, shimmering prose, and saturated with the flavor, feel, and mood of the deep South, Hell at the Breach is a novel worthy of the works of William Faulkner, Flannery O' Connor, and Rick Bass.