Author Marcus Sedgwick introduces an exclusive excerpt from his gripping new novel Saint Death.
Set in Juárez, Mexico, Marcus Sedgwick’s new novel is a searing roller coaster of time, faith, and unflinching humanity. Saint Death follows Arturo, a young man determined to stay out of trouble — until an act of friendship overwhelms the careful balance of his life.
Caught in the grim interstice between American interest and the all-too-human resources across the border, Arturo finds himself in deadly waters. But finding mercy among brutal cartels and traffickers is one thing; finding the mercy of Saint Death herself is another matter entirely.
Marcus Sedgwick on Chapter 8 of ‘Saint Death’
In this chapter, our main character, Arturo, and his friend, Faustino, pay a visit to a shrine to Santa Muerte in Juárez, Mexico where Saint Death takes place. The two have come seeking a blessing of some kind. Faustino has fallen in with a drug gang, and has done a stupid thing. He’s “borrowed” $1,000 from his boss, with but one chance to pay it back.
Arturo has agreed to try and win the money for his friend, in a high-stakes evening playing the card game Calavera. Up until this point, Arturo had no idea his friend had started worshiping Santa Muerte, but he figures he’s going to need all the help he can get…
Santa Muerte plays a subtle but significant role in my novel, Saint Death. Working with this emerging folk saint as a character offered a great chance to merge the real and the unreal, in a similar way in which devotees of “the Bony Lady” mix Catholic ritual with other, more obscure forms of belief.
And while the Pope may have banned all worship of Santa Muerte, people tend to worship who and what they want to, as we’ll see with Arturo and Faustino.