First, a disclaimer. Pat Bertram and I are long-time online friends. We’ve also met in “real life.” And, we’ve blogged about each other’s books. All this means you can’t expect this post to be objective news. Not at all. I’m just happy Pat’s got a new book coming out later this month.
I’m a bit jealous because Bob: The Right Hand of God looks like the kind of book I wish I’d written. It will be released by Stairway Press on October 20, though you can already find a page listing for it on Amazon.
All Chet Thomlin wants is to be left alone to care for the abandoned and neglected animals at his store, Used Pets, but his obnoxious customers and clinging mother make life miserable. And nothing ever seems to change.
On April Fool’s day, a gnome-like little man appears on television. He introduces himself as Bob, the Right Hand of God, and says that as part of the galactic renewal program, God has accepted an offer from a development company on the planet Xerxes to turn Earth into a theme park
Chet laughs at the prank, but then bizarre things happen. Carrier pigeons return, millions of them, darkening the sky as they hadn’t done for over a hundred years. His mother and her entire subdivision are wiped off the face of the earth. And his friends disappear.
On Easter Sunday, a bright light appears, and Bob tells the remaining population of Denver that if they enter the light, they will be safe from the reconstruction zone. Chet watches people enter one by one, but he refuses to step forward, thinking that he’d rather have his freedom than to be in a dubiously safe place.
The light fades, and Chet gets what he wanted. He is left alone. Well, except for Bob. Bob won’t let him be. Bob calls Chet on his now-defunct cellphone, taunts him, plays with his senses. Being chosen by The Right Hand of God is no fun!
Even worse, Chet gets more change than he can handle. Plumbing and all other signs of civilization vanish. Denver becomes a prairie of blue flowers that sweep into an inland sea where a prehistoric monster lives. Volcanoes grow at his feet.
And Chet has become prey.
Maybe going into that mysterious light wouldn’t be so bad after all…
Some people might suggest Earth has already become a theme park. I’m not going to debate that one way or another. I just want to enjoy the novel as soon as I can get my hands on a copy.