A well done story of an individual living an extraordinary long life, but with a difference. In the majority of the novels dealing with a life span significantly longer than ordinary, it is the same individual moving through many lifespans having to hide periodically in order to not raise suspicions.
In this book, Marvin Deitz is the latest incarnation of Geoffrey Therage, a man who was the executioner of Joan of Arc in 1431. Since that event, Geoffrey has lived, died, and been born again many times. In each instance he, or she, as the case may be, regains complete memory of past lives at about the age of one year. The guilt associated with the burning of Joan follows Geoffrey through all his births over the centuries.
The novel begins with Marvin Deitz viewing a TV show featuring a woman claiming to be the reincarnation of the fabled Joan of Arc. He immediately sets out to see the woman in Los Angeles. Along the way, he is picked up by Mike Vale, an alcoholic remnant of a once great painter who made and lost millions with his great talent. Mike is traveling to attend his ex-wife’sthe funeral of his who is the only woman he ever loved and who loved him. She left Mike at a point where he was completely unable to experience a normal relationship due to his drinking.
Rosson’s novel is one that deals with guilt and redemption in a way that will haunt the reader and certainly makes a case for further reading books by him. A very well done scenario by an up and coming author.
1/18 Paul Lane
SMOKE CITY by Keith Rosson. Meerkat Press, LLC (January 23, 2018). ISBN 978-1946154163. 330p.