Written by: Vitina Molgaard
“Where in the hell am I?”
Wentworth took a cigarillo from his lips. clover-smelling smoke streaming from his mouth. His tone was deadpan. “Good guess.”
Sykes shook his head. He was exhausted. “Not quite sure I take your meaning, sir,” he replied.
“They call this place Gehenna,” Wentworth answered. “Might as well be the first to welcome you. I doubt anyone else will.” He handed Sykes a room key.
Sykes smiled. The reaction seemed to further annoy the old man. “Somethin’ funny ‘bout that. friend?”
Sykes turned to walk away, but he did answer. “Ye serpents, ye generations of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of Gehenna?” (Matthew 23:33) –The Hand of OSIRIS
Frank Cavallo has created an excellent story that I believe has the potential to become a classic. The Hand of Osiris is a western set in the year 1879 and is full of adventure, horror and a fair amount of bizarre characters. The twists and turns will have you flipping the pages, keeping you wondering precisely where we’re headed and how the tale will eventually conclude. The story grips, and doesn’t let go.
This journey starts out with focus on a gunslinger named Sykes who accidentally kills the wrong man. The results of this shooting bring about the hiring of former lawman, Hatcher, a bounty hunter known for his experience and efficiency in regards to getting the job done. These two men are destined to meet in unexpected fashion, and fate’s got a surprising spin in store. Circumstances, rather than pursuit will bring the two together in a small town named Gehenna.
Gehenna, a remote community of awkward individuals, is a place where dark pleasures, sin and avarice flourish. Here is where we meet Osiris and his beautiful but mysterious assistant, Lilith; two peculiar, superior beings (perhaps we should call them “gifted”) that control the hidden secrets that maintain the very nature of this domain. There are a plethora of other souls dwelling within the pages here, but they are better left for the reader to discover, and furthermore I’m not going to label these characters as protagonists or antagonists, because to do so would be somewhat inaccurate.
Mr. Cavallo has done a fantastic job of fleshing out the complexities of the inhabitants that exist here. As readers we can dig our heels in and tackle character examination with joy. It’s a successful practice from Cavallo. The novel, while still seeming to fly under the radar a bit, is delightfully constructed . I highly recommend it to you. This is a strong piece of horror that incorporates a decent amount of gore, but pulls on the reigns before things become overwhelming. There’s also some action and supernatural activities that feel quite cohesive and relevant to the story as a whole.
When all is said and done, this is one book I suggest that you make some time for. Read it …relish it, and when you find yourself surprised by the climax, take a moment to really appreciate that as well. The Hand of Osiris is a quality piece of fiction.