A man with a consuming addiction. A woman who talks to God.
And the secret connection that could destroy them both…
Jerry has a traumatic past that leaves him subject to psychotic hallucinations and depressive episodes. When he stands accused of stealing a priceless Van Gogh painting, he goes underground, where he develops an unwilling relationship with a woman who believes that the voices she hears are from God. Involuntarily entangled in the illicit world of sex-trafficking amongst the Hollywood elite, and on a mission to find redemption for a haunting series of events from the past, Jerry is thrust into a genuinely shocking and outrageously funny quest to uncover the truth and atone for historical sins.
A complex, page-turning psychological thriller, riddled with twists and turns, Epiphany Jones is also a superb dark comedy with a powerful emotional core.You’ll laugh when you know you shouldn’t, be moved when you least expect it and, most importantly, never look at Hollywood, celebrity or sex in the same way again. This is an extraordinary debut from a fresh, exceptional new talent.
When I first started reading Epiphany Jones, I really wasn’t too sure about it. It starts with a pretty graphic hallucination of a rather sexual nature, and I started to wonder what I was letting myself in for. However, Karen at Orenda Books has yet to let me down when it comes to compelling fiction (seriously, check out the Orenda catalogue and no, I’m not on commission) so I carried on.
What followed was one of the more… unusual books I’ve ever read. Jerry Dresden is a man with issues. Serious issues. He keeps seeing people, figments he calls them. We, the reader, are never quite sure what to make of them. What’s real and what’s in Jerry’s head?
Then he meets the titular Epiphany Jones, who is convinced that she’s hearing the word of God. She convinces Jerry to join her (sort of) and what follows is an adventure thriller quite unlike any you’ve ever seen before. Sex trafficking amongst the Hollywood elite, the most powerful figures in the entertainment world. People who will stop at nothing to make sure their secrets remain firmly behind closed doors.
The writing has a deliciously blacker than black humour to it. It’s sharp and graphic and uncomfortable, and you’ll find yourself questioning your assumptions about the characters as the novel progresses. There are rare moments of calm amidst the storm of Jerry’s predicament but even there the tension ratchets up notch by inevitable notch. Nothing is simple or straightforward in Jerry Dresden’s world and Epiphany Jones is the fizzing sparkler in the cocktail.
Whilst my feelings for Jerry went from one end of the spectrum to the other, I flat-out adored Epiphany Jones. She’s a brilliant, brilliant character and you’re never quite sure what she’s going to do next.
I’ve read a lot of thrillers over the years, but never one quite like Epiphany Jones. It’s unusual, quirky, dark, graphic and unsettling in equal measures. Michael Grothaus is a seriously talented guy and one to watch very, very closely.
Huge thanks to Karen (@OrendaBooks) for the review copy, and to Michael Grothaus (@michaelgrothaus) for taking us into the world of Ephiphany Jones. As ever, the opinions are entirely my own. The blog tour continues tomorrow with Sophie at Reviewed the Book with @SophieRTB.