cover image Sign Here

Sign Here

Claudia Lux. Berkley, $27 (416p) ISBN 978-0-593-54576-8

Lux brilliantly combines satire, suspense, and pathos in her remarkably assured debut. Peyote Trip literally works in Hell—in the Deals Department, where his job is to get people to sign away their souls. Trip and his colleagues, who have the ability to read the prayers of the desperate, can trick them into signing a binding document without sweating the fine print. To be promoted, Trip needs to land one more soul. He’s already ensnared four generations of the Harrison family; binding the soul of a member of the fifth generation would make a “Complete Set,” an achievement that would allow his memories of all the suffering he’s inflicted to be wiped away. Meanwhile, chapters told from the perspective of various Harrisons focus on a murder 20 years earlier for which Philip Harrison, “a wild child back in the day, always taking girls for rides on his motorcycle,” was charged. Lux balances the whodunit plot and her antihero’s quest perfectly as the action builds to a surprisingly moving place. Readers of paranormal crime series such as Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files will be eager to see what Lux has up her sleeve next. Agent: Lucy Cleland, Kneerim & Evans. (Oct.)