Posts Tagged ‘Who Mourns for hte Hangman?’

Review: “Who Mourns For the Hangman?” by S. A. Bolich

Who Mourns for the Hangman? By S. A. Bolich

"Who Mourns for the Hangman?" by S. A. Bolich

"Who Mourns for the Hangman?" by S. A. Bolich

Published by Damnation Books

“Who Mourns for the Hangman?” is a novella by S. A. Bolich set in the 19th century. A hangman by the name of Scraggy Barton has been called to a town in order to hang a young man known only to him as “Young James.”

Scraggy is a hangman with a reputation.  His noose glows with the power of providing justice to the people.  If his noose glows, the person is a criminal, worthy of the death that he is about to receive.  Having received a letter regarding this “Young James,” the noose glowed stronger than it had in the past.  But will Scraggy be able to let it do its job?

This novella is extremely rich in imagery. While most writers and books on writing tell new writers to stay away from it, Ms. Bolich has masterfully used smidgens of dialect to color her story so that the readers’ suspension of disbelief even easier.  The emotions of Scraggy Barton as he is faced with a situation that he never once expected are clearly described and heavily felt in the stomach of the reader.

The characters in “Who Mourns for the Hangman?” are fully fleshed out and visible in the mind’s eye as the reader ingests the words of the story.  And, to answer the titular question, it is we, the readers, who mourn with the hangman as he remembers his life and choosing his work of distributing justice over that of being a father to his son, a husband to his wife.

I will be searching out more of Ms. Bolich’s work.  You can find her online at her website, The official site for S.A. Bolich and follow her writing blog, Words From Thin Air.


Kari Wolfe is a freelance author, reviewer and stay-at-home mother of the cutest little girl in the whole wide world (ok, she is a little biased).  You can contact her directly at kari.j.wolfe (at) and can find more of her work on her blog, Imperfect Clarity.