Title: The Hand Of Osiris
Author: Frank Cavallo
Publication Date: Jul 27, 2013
I received a copy from the publisher Necro Publications for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.
Ye serpents, Ye generation of vipers,
How can ye escape The damnation of Gehenna?
– Matthew 23:33
The outlaw Jedediah Sykes has just killed the wrong man, the nephew of a powerful rail baron. Now he’s on the run and the bounty hunter Jacob Hatcher is hot on his trail with a group of hired men and Apache guides. But when the guides refuse to go any further, warning that the lands ahead are cursed by an ancient and nameless evil, Jacob is forced to go the trail alone–a trail that leads him to a town, a dark paradise of sin and vice called Gehenna.
Hatcher and Sykes soon become entangled in the mysteries of Gehenna’s peculiar denizens: a fire & brimstone Jesuit who’s preaching to a city of lost souls, and a shadowy figure who rules over the town like a living god. When one of them makes a choice that threatens to damn them all, the rest must work together to find a stolen key that can unlock the domain of the dead. And in their search, confront not only their own demons, but the hidden horrors of Gehenna itself.
Find it on: Necro Publications
Necro Publications sure knows how to pick winners!
If you like Weird West tales with a supernatural twist, anti-heroes and a story that turns out to be more than you expected, you’re going to love The Hand of Osiris.
This tale is really about Jedidiah Sykes, an outlaw and one who has done many things that should weigh on his conscience; most don’t. Now he has just made the mistake of killing a railroad baron’s nephew and with a bounty hunter hot on his trail he flees and ends up in Gehenna. Not everyone can enter and strange things happen in Gehenna that defy normal definitions.
Thatcher is the bounty hunter with nothing to lose. He only hopes to collect the bounty so he can leave something for his wife and children whom he has failed in every other way and with a sickness wasting eating away at him, he is going to collect that bounty at any cost so he too enters Gehenna.
They’re not the only ones whose tasks and deeds will land them in Gehenna for on their trail, hunter and hunted, comes another who delights in making music out of the screams of the dying. When all of their paths cross, whether by surprise or design, they surprise even themselves and the lines between good and evil becomes even more blurred.
I was totally immersed in this tale. It turned out to be some much more than I had expected and I was pleasantly surprised. The characters, main and supporting, really shine in The Hand of Osiris. They are so well-crafted that they resonated with me. They are real and believable and were ambiguous, neither wholly good or wholly evil, which humanised them and made them relatable.
I loved the writing, it flowed and made for easy reading. The plot moves along at a steady and fast pace which left no room for boredom and the surprising turn the story took endeared it to me even more and I could not get through it fast enough. All the supernatural happenings and conflicts within felt essential to the story and meshed seamlessly with the other elements to deliver a well balanced tale with just enough gore but without going so far as to make it a full out horror story.
All in all, a well-written Weird West tale with a supernatural twist that is imaginative, immersive and captivating, with characters that will resonate with you, and a story with a unique mix of adventure, gore and complex characters that you will want to read again and again.
About The Author
Frank Cavallo’s short stories have appeared in a variety of publications, including Every Day Fiction, Ray Gun Revival, and Lost Souls. He has written for the Black Library’s Warhammer property and is the author of the The Lucifer Messiah.
He was born in New Jersey and now lives near Cleveland, Ohio, where he works as a criminal defense attorney at the Cuyahoga County Public Defender Office.