The Salt Marsh King

A modern reimagining of Shakespeare’s King Lear

Henry O’Reilly, the founder and head of a seafood empire nearing the end of his career, makes sudden preparations to divide his empire among his three sons and entrust to them not only the family business, but the future of their North Carolina town.

The youngest of the three, Patrick, remains at odds with his family’s decadence and avarice, and declines to become involved. As the two older men conspire to force Henry into early retirement and take over the company completely, the brothers’ lust for power leads to turbulent and terrifying battles with Patrick unwillingly thrust into the very eye of the storm.

As greed, cowardice, and petty spite threaten to destroy those around him, Patrick proves himself no match for the scheming of others. If he is to survive the maelstrom wrought by his bickering, dangerous kin, he must find his strength within.

Caught between the spiraling pulls of business intrigue and the deadly force of a hurricane sweeping up the Carolinas, the events of The Salt Marsh King will alter the shape of a barrier island, the destiny of a powerful family, and the fate of the town that relies on their business.

Fast on the heels of his 2013 award-winning short story The Brackish, Drew Krepp’s debut novel The Salt Marsh King heralds the full arrival of a talented author whose voice is fresh, intelligent, and powerful.

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About the Book

Drew Krepp’s fine first novel, The Salt Marsh King, shuffles a deck of wealth, power, betrayal, and family secrets and then deals us lucky readers a royal flush with suspense and tension ratcheted up degree by degree, page by page. Along the way, Mr. Krepp masterfully describes places that you smell and feel while he weaves themes that touch on the nature of time and our trajectories in it. —CLYDE EDGERTON, author of five New York Times Notable Books of the Year, including THE NIGHT TRAIN, SOLO, and WALKING ACROSS EGYPT

The explosively entertaining Salt Marsh King is a captivating story mixed with strikingly poetic elements. Krepp’s passion for the nautical outdoors is reminiscent of a young Hemingway, while his contemporary prose rivals that of Chad Harbach’s. It’s a fascinating novel that will make you see Shakespeare’s King Lear in a whole new light. —TONY MUSCIO, LA-based Playwright and Screenwriter


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The Salt Marsh King
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