First off, I’d like to say a big thank you to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and to the author, Michael Grothaus for my copy of Epiphany Jones to read and review.
About the book (via Goodreads):
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 among 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.
About the author:
Michael Grothaus is a novelist and journalist who spent years researching sex trafficking, using his experiences as a springboard for his debut novel Epiphany Jones. Born in Saint Louis, Missouri in 1977, he spent his twenties in Chicago where he earned his degree in filmmaking and worked for institutions including The Art Institute of Chicago, Twentieth Century Fox, and Apple. As a journalist he regularly writes about creativity, tech, subcultures, sex and pornography, the effects of mass media on our psyches, and just plain mysterious stuff for publications including Fast Company, VICE, Guardian, Engadget, and more. He’s also done immersion journalism at geopolitical events including the Hong Kong protests against Beijing in 2014. His writing is read by millions of people each month. Michael lives in London.
I had no idea what to expect when I first started reading Epiphany Jones. Billed as a thriller, I was expecting the usual formulaic writing that is often the case with books these days. However, from the opening chapters, I knew I had something special in my hands.
When we meet Jerry Dresden, he is in the midst of a graphic sexual hallucination. It is a shocking intro, but it gives an insight into his fragile mind. Working in a Chicago museum, Jerry is muddling along in his life. Plagued with all sorts of hallucinations, it’s difficult for the reader to even distinguish between what’s real and what isn’t.
When Jerry stands accused of stealing a Van Gogh painting worth millions of dollars, he flees his apartment and ends up meeting the enigmatic Epiphany Jones. Jones, who hears voices purporting to be those of God, is convinced she needs Jerry to help her on her quest, and in turn she can clear his name.
What follows is a graphic, often violent and darkly comic take on a thriller. Epiphany Jones is most definitely a genre-bending book. Echoes of the twisted Tarantino movies are intermingled with underworld Hollywood dealings in this truly unique novel. It is a very cleverly written novel and Grothaus has done a superb job in bringing trafficking and the seedy underbelly of Hollywood to life between the pages.
Epiphany Jones is quirky, graphic, funny and moving in equal measure. The characters were so well written, and by the end of the book I was genuinely invested in the fates of the characters that I raced to the end to find out what happened. I cannot praise this book or Michael Grothaus enough for taking a genre, picking it apart and making it unique enough to stay with me for a long time. 😉
Thanks again Karen and Michael for giving me the opportunity to read Epiphany Jones and for using my quote on the back cover. Talk about a dream come true! 😊📚❤️
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