Monster Hunter Nation meets Mayberry in MC Tuggle’s newest fantasy ebook

Buddy Vuncannon returns in MC Tuggle's newest ebook, The Genie Hunt. He must defend his old friend Coot Pickard when Coot is identified by close acquaintances as the gunman in a series of robberies. Plot twists and plenty of action abound.

On May 10, 2017, Solstice Publishing released The Genie Hunt the latest ebook from fantasy fiction author M. C. Tuggle. It’s a Southern Gothic whodunit set in present-day High Point, North Carolina. The protagonist, attorney Buddy Vuncannon, must defend his old friend Coot Pickard when Coot is identified by close acquaintances as the gunman in a series of robberies. During his investigation, Buddy, an ex-policeman, slips easily between Coot’s world of hard living and the barely disguised dirty fighting that determines a client’s guilt or innocence in a criminal prosecution.

To defend Coot, Buddy must stand up to a bullying district attorney, uncover the identity of the real robbers, and battle a powerful genie from Iraq who serves the robbers. Buddy’s investigation implicates an old friend who’s converted to Islam, reigniting long-forgotten friction between Buddy and Coot. Old and new loyalties clash, leading Buddy and Coot to a desperate backwoods chase that forces them to seek the help of a madman they both fear.

M.C. Tuggle is a native North Carolinian whose ancestors arrived in the South in 1647. He majored in history and English, and completed his M.A. in English at Wake Forest University on a Wake Forest fellowship. His fantasy, science fiction, and literary short stories have been featured in several publications. Novel Fox published his novella Aztec Midnight in December, 2014.

The Genie Hunt offers plot twists, laughs, and plenty of action, all packed into an unmistakably Southern setting. As one reviewer put it, the book reads like a mash-up of Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter Nation and “The Andy Griffith Show.” But beneath the antics, serious issues propel the story line. The Genie Hunt explores the implications of the loss of social mobility and job security faced by many in today’s middle class, who see themselves falling behind in a globalizing economy. As in many small towns, drugs offer an escape for both the user and seller. As Coot explains to Buddy: “You don’t know what it’s like … You got to go to college. We had to work at Alma Desk, Cone Mills, Adams-Millis. Until they all closed. When they shut their doors and moved overseas, it was like the whole world was against us.”

A contributing factor to the distress roiling the heartland is the disappearance of what was once the safety net for the American economy, and that is the family farm. The textile and manufacturing jobs that swept many from the farm a few generations ago have vanished, and the know-how to make a farm productive has been lost. Abandoned farm houses dot the narrative of The Genie Hunt.

Another theme is the allure of authoritarian religion in a secular culture. Coot’s former partner in drug dealing, Danny, explains what motivated him to join a jihadist gang: “You have to understand, Coot,” Danny said, and took a deep breath, wiped his eyes. “I want things to be the way they should be. I want to see people keeping their promises again, to do right by each other, and to know peace. You know what I mean?”

Tuggle explains: “J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy echoes my anger at how the country’s business and political leaders have betrayed the heartland, and Michel Houellebecq’s Submission offers a thoughtful and darkly humorous reverie on the appeal of authoritarian ideologies in a faithless, aimless age. I hope readers will find that The Genie Hunt is not only an entertaining read, but also has something worthwhile to say.”

Release ID: 213260