The gods ruined Professor Jason’s life. He wants payback. Even if it kills him.
Welcome back to the amazing fantasy world of Roger Rabbit creator Gary K. Wolf. This time it’s murder, intrigue, and godly shenanigans.
The Greek Gods, who have relocated to a glitzy mountaintop in Southern California, aren’t getting the pious veneration they feel they deserve. Big Ben Bolt, formerly called Zeus, has a foolproof way to reclaim his old glory. It all starts when Tilly Hunter comes to ornithology professor Jason with a strange request: She wants him to find her son’s father. A talking swan.
Jason knows birds. Swans don’t talk, nor do they seduce women. This is godly work.
Years ago, the gods ruined Jason’s life, destroying his family. He wants payback. Jason takes the case.
Jason’s ready to die to fulfill his quest. The Gods are more than willing to let him. Can Jason bring the Gods to their knees before they bring him to his grave?
“Are you Jason? The professor who wrote the book?” She held up his lone foray into the popular press, Why the Caged Bird Sings. A Household Guide to Avian Psychology. The most charitable review dismissed it as “egghead on bird brains.”
“I’m Tilly Hunter.” She shifted a stack of professional journals to the rear of his rarely used second chair and sat on the forward edge. Her diamond-patterned, black nylon stockings produced a zipping sound as she crossed her legs. “I need your help. I want you to find my son’s father.”
“I’m an ornithologist. I study birds. You want one of those private fellows who track missing persons.”
“It’s you I need. You exactly. I met him a year ago. At the beach. I was feeding crackers to the sea gulls. He came over to me and dipped his face into my cracker box.” Her voice resonated with ardor. “He was so playful, so soft, so cuddly, so cute. I never believed in love at first sight. Until I met Ducky.”
“I never asked his name. He never volunteered it. I called him Ducky.” The edges of her mouth turned up slightly. “He called me his little chickadee. We spent one long, glorious afternoon together. Making love and eating saltines.” The memory of her amorous Ducky brought tears to her eyes.
She opened her handbag and removed a fine lace hanky. “A month later, I realized I was pregnant.” She dabbed droplets of moisture off her cheeks.
Jason eyed her plain gold ring. “You’re married?”
“I told Hunt, that’s my husband, that the child was his. He was tickled to death. We’d been trying for years without success.” Her shoulders slumped. “Then he discovered the truth.”
“I didn’t have to. The instant Hunt saw my newborn baby boy, he knew. There’s no way on the Gods’ green earth that Hunt Junior could be his.”
She handed Jason a baby picture, a three-for-one special marked Sears on the back. Pity the poor photographer. No camera angle in the world would make this tyke look good. Her son was covered with a layer of downy feathers. His back sported a pair of vestigial wings. In profile, he resembled a model airplane wearing an Indian head dress.
“My lover was a swan. A gorgeous, elegant, talking swan.”
“That’s why I need you. You know everything about swans.”
Jason handed back the picture. “First and foremost, I know they don’t talk. Or seduce women.”
“My son’s living proof that one of them does.” She curled her lower lip inward. Her lipstick tinted her front teeth blood red. “Hunt’s insane with rage. He hired a private detective to find Ducky. Hunt’s vowed to kill him, stuff him, roast him, and eat him for dinner.”
She tapped her manicured fingernail forcefully on Jason’s desktop. “I love that bird more than I’ve ever loved any man. Don’t let my husband butcher my Ducky.”
- Word Count: 78,474
- Author: Gary K. Wolf
- Website: Gary K. Wolf
- Heat Level: 3
- ISBN: 978-1-61937-408-9
- Artist: Kelly Shorten
- Editor: Alisa Carter
Bibliophilic Book Blog
Review: The Greek Gods, who live on Mt. Olympus in South California, are just as petty and base as ever. They are worshipped currently, but Big…