cover image The Anomaly

The Anomaly

Michael Rutger. Grand Central, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5387-6185-4

Fans of the paranormal thrillers of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child will relish this superior debut from screenwriter Rutger, who makes the fantastic seem less so by dint of his self-aware, flawed lead and his ability to inject gallows humor into tense situations. Nolan Moore hosts The Anomaly Files, a YouTube show dedicated to exploring unexplained phenomena, but he and his team hope for bigger things after the Palinhem Foundation—whose mission is truth, according to a foundation representative who goes by the name Feather—sponsors an expedition that could land the show a cable deal. Nolan and his colleagues, accompanied by Feather, travel from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon to attempt to locate a cavern allegedly found by an early-20th-century expedition sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution, which later suppressed the expedition’s discovery of “evidence that North America was visited in eldritch times by another culture.” Nolan and gang succeed in finding the cavern, only to encounter incredible—and terrifying—objects that place their lives in jeopardy. Rutger milks every ounce of suspense from his plot. Agent: Jennifer Joel, ICM Partners. (June)