The lines between fiction and nonfiction have become increasingly blurred, but in journalist Pope Brock's first book, about murder and adultery in his family, everything is true.
Journalist Pope Brock grew up ignorant of his family's most closely guarded secret. It was only when his great-aunt was dying that he learned the true circumstances surrounding the death of his great-grandfather Ham Dillon. An aspiring young Indiana politician, Dillon was shot to death in 1908 by his own brother-in-law, Link Hale--a man half-crazed with anger and grief over the fact that his wife, Allie, had just borne Ham a child. To add another twist, Allie Hale was more than just Ham Dillon's lover; she was also his wife's only sister.
Fascinated by this revelation, Pope Brock began his research. In Indiana Gothic: A Story of Adultery and Murder in an American Family, he tells the story of Ham Dillon with the sweep and power of a novel, re-creating the era in such vivid detail that we have the sensation of time travel. Readers first meet the young Ham Dillon--handsome, charismatic, ambitious--as he courts Maggie Thompson, the daughter of a well-to-do farmer. But after their marriage in 1898, Ham comes into the orbit of Maggie's sister, Allie, who is locked in a joyless marriage to the depressive Link Hale. Passion soon takes over, and tragedy ensues--culminating in the drama of Link's murder trial, which made headlines for its controversial use of the insanity plea. Atmospheric and gripping, Indiana Gothic is a bold saga of an American past that is both forever lost and strangely, startlingly familiar.