Do you ever read a book with the honest intent to write a review right afterwards, but life happens and then a couple of weeks pass and whoops, you haven’t written the blog yet? Or is that just me? Whoops.
As you may know, I am a fan of Johnny Worthen’s work. I signed up for his email list last year at Salt Lake Comic Con, and this year, when he asked for readers and reviewers for his new book, What Immortal Hand, I immediately responded, “Yassss!” (If you’re tired of my reviews of Johnny’s books, get used to it. I’ll probably end up reviewing all his books over time)
What Immortal Hand follows Michael Oswald, private investigator for an insurance company eager to prove disability fraud or other ways customers violated their plans and thus don’t have to pay out any insurance claims. Michael doesn’t like working for the insurance company, but it pays his bills and allows him to travel endlessly.
When a semi truck goes missing in Nevada, Michael feels he has to follow up on it–no matter that he’s not assigned the case. It’s an itch he has to scratch, and he follows whatever leads he can on the weeks-old case. But then he feels drawn to an old rest stop in the middle of the desert. Something about that spot calls to him. And so he digs, and finds a massive burial ground for murder victims spanning the centuries.
What Immortal Hand is a book that starts in the realm of what we think of as reality, but slowly and surely it takes us to the realm of impossibility. We learn that visions of demons and the Mother Goddess are not the result of illness or madness, but of something worse. As the story progresses, we see Michael Oswald descend from normalcy to…something more. The brilliance of Johnny Worthen’s book is how it delves into the psyche of both Michael’s and the readers’ minds. What starts out as hardly fathomable, beyond moral sensibilities, slowly changes until evil is good and good is mundane. At the end, what happens seems perfectly normal and almost…right. And that, dear readers, is the most frightening thing of all.
What Immortal Hand is available for pre-order from Amazon.com, and will be published September 22, 2017. For those lucky enough to go to Salt Lake Comic-Con, there will be a release party that day:
Johnny Worthen is an award-winning, best-selling author of books and stories. A Utah Writer of the Year. Trained in modern literary criticism and cultural studies, he writes upmarket multi-genre fiction, symbolized by his love of tie-dye and good words. “I write what I like to read,” he says. “This guarantees me at least one fan.”
Visit Johnny’s website for more information on his other books and upcoming events.