A wounded Iraq War veteran struggling with PTSD and drug addiction embarks on a mission to find a mysterious family heirloom in the depths of the American South.
Ludwig Mason survived an IED attack that destroyed his Humvee and killed the Marines in his battalion during his tour in Fallujah. Upon returning home to West Philadelphia, he struggles to reconnect with his wife and young son, earn a living, and overcome his addiction to alcohol and opioids. But when a mysterious woman named Mrs. S calls one day and tells Mason she can pay him to do a job, he finds himself drawn in to a journey that takes him first to Connecticut and then through the murky history of Mobile, Alabama, and New Orleans. As Mason begins to draw connections between the Ghebelins, a Southern industrial dynasty; the mysterious Mrs. S; and the ways of the occult, he finds himself in increasing danger and eventually crosses paths with one of the most destructive storms in American history. Lohier's debut thriller ranges from the suppression of the Roma in Armenia and France to the destructive toll of the war in Iraq to the failure of the U.S. government to respond to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. Mason proves to be a vivid and dynamic protagonist, and the cast of characters he encounters across Europe, the Rust Belt, and the South sets the tone for a nerve-wracking narrative. Though much of the dialogue is clichéd, expository passages can feel overlong, and Mason’s struggle with PTSD and substance addiction becomes repetitive, the novel finishes with a riveting final sequence that will keep the reader guessing right up until its heart-wrenching conclusion.
A rich neo-noir thriller that feels as original as it does compelling.