The feral wasteland of the southern California desert and the badlands of Mexico; these are the settings for Boston Teran's searing debut novel - a dark, wrenching thriller about personal conviction, retribution, and survival. Fall 1970. In a remote playa a twelve-year-old boy stumbles upon a hideous scene in a dust-strewn trailer; the savage murder of a woman that will remain unsolved for twenty-five years. Christmas week, 1995. A fourteen-year-old girl is kidnapped by a bloodthirsty satanic cult that calls itself the Left-Handed Path. The leader, Cyrus, considers murder the 'ultimate freedom, ultimate joy... ultimate service.' His 'tribe' is a group of drug-fueled young psychopaths honing their skills under the tutelage of a master. Helter Skelter. And then some. Bob Hightower, the girl's father, is a cop, suddenly more desperate than he ever imagined possible. There are no clues to his daughter's whereabouts, only a scene of unfathomable carnage - the mutilated corpses of her mother and stepfather - left behind by the kidnappers. His only hope is a fierce ex-cult member named Case Hardin, a woman tempered to an extraordinary strength by what she's endured, who's just getting off the junkie trail in a halfway house in Hollywood. Bob has absolutely no reason, and every need, to trust her. Case suspects that the killings, committed within fifty miles of each other and separated by a quarter of a century, are part of a byzantine nightmare she knows too well, a nightmare that has now engulfed Bob's daughter. Their quest - he for his child, she to exorcise her demons - becomes a primal hunt-and-chase through a savagesubculture of drugs and ritualistic violence ('the black land of plenty') that takes them inexorably toward the limits of physical and psychological torment and trauma. 'God Is a Bullet' is an indelible story of people who must discover what it means to surrender oneself completely - to drugs, or power, or faith, or love - and, when necessary, what it takes to come back. It is a stunning debut.