cover image Fever House

Fever House

Keith Rosson. Random House, $28 (448p) ISBN 978-0-593-59575-6

In this stellar supernatural thriller, Rosson (Road Seven) makes suspending disbelief easy by creating plausible, multidimensional characters who just happen to get caught up in the chaos surrounding a dangerous relic. Hutch Holtz and Tim Reed work as debt collectors for loan shark Peach Serrano in Portland, Ore. When Holtz and Reed go to strong-arm Wesley, a drug addict who owes Serrano $12,000, their thoughts are invaded by a powerful negative aura like “an itch in the dark meat of the skull.” They trace the sensation to a severed hand that Wesley keeps inside a Wonder Bread bag and decide to take it along to their boss. That choice leads to some unexpected consequences, as proximity to the hand triggers murderous instincts. Rosson ups the suspense by intercutting this story line with transcriptions of an interrogation by a covert U.S. intelligence agency of a being named Michael, who’s asked to use his remote-viewing abilities to help locate the hand. Sophisticated characterizations—even brutish Holtz and Reed are imbued with a degree of sympathy—distinguish this page-turner. The result should win Rosson a legion of new fans. (Aug.)