Absolution (The Elohim Trilogy #1) by Louis Corsair
In 1947, a gangster murders private investigator Raymond Adams. In 2011, he's brought back to life for 24 hours to solve the supernatural murder of a Hollywood Adult film star.
When the son of a Pit Lord is murdered in Hollywood, the celestial beings in charge of the Four Realms ask Raymond Adams to figure who did it and find the victim's missing soul. Without memories of his life, he accepts the case to gain eternal peace. But the job is daunting:
24 hours to nab a killer...
24 hours to find a missing soul...
24 hours to unravel the victim's exotic private life...
24 hours to stop a plot to send the universe into chaos...
With only the help of a possessed cop and a medium, Adams must trek through a Hollywood underground filled with pornography, prostitutes, the homeless, and sadists, along with supernatural monsters. But can he solve the case when his own haunting memories keep surfacing, telling him exactly what kind of man he was in life?
I was in a preparation chamber made completely out of light. I hovered like a cloud watching child-like celestials regenerate and reanimate my corpse. They didn’t bother with new clothes and simply fixed up the suit I had been buried in. When finished, they vacuumed me into my old body, a loving experience I could only compare to dying.
“Cold...” I said and my throat was dry like the Mojave in the middle of summer. They explained my body was mostly dead but this would improve as time passed. To help me with the shivers, the merciful celestials threw in a brown overcoat, shoes, and a fedora.
“Gun,” I said. True I was dead, but the people I was going to deal with were not and I had a feeling they would want to stay that way. Protection was necessary.
They gave me a revolver loaded with ten Thunderbolt bullets. I also got a good watch to keep track of time, an enchanted magnifying glass, and a special rune to communicate with the Committee. The big people wanted regular updates on my progress.
The celestials opened a portal to the Realm of the Living and sent me through it.
It is important for a writer to understand the elements of fiction. To speak of all of them would be incredibly long (and dull) so I will focus on the characters and setting; this is only a brief look, I promise. With a wave of the witch’s wand, I being:
In a writer workshop last Fall, one of my fellow writers commented that the events depicted in the piece I had turned in were “ridiculous” because the place I had described “couldn’t be that bad.” The few pages were about gang violence and poverty in modern El Salvador. What he really commented on was the amount of realism in the pages.
It is my belief that you ought to capture the landscape you write about without shame or censorship. If two men are having sex in a parking lot or doing drugs in a corner or trying to build a nest near a freeway to sleep in, if two women are trying to have a fun night out while a disturbing individual follows them, then you ought to show that. However, I don’t see why you need to be graphic about it--I don’t need to describe the sexual act performed in the car. I don’t need to describe the details. That’s gore. I’m not a fan of gore.
In Absolution, I describe Hollywood down to the smell of feces and urine that lingers in some parts of the city. It is not sadism, but an orgy of scents. I also use specific locations (not all of them tourist attractions) so that the realism is more powerful. My intent was to contrast the fantasy elements with stark realism. So, sometimes you’ll see the most degrading human situations and conditions. And the next you might come across a celestial being or a magic bullet that summons lightning. The juxtaposition, I hope, will produce an exotic treat.
Picture this. You’re a beautiful woman and you walk into a crowded coffee shop. Men automatically gravitate towards you and try to make clumsy, and sometimes effective, small talk. It is warm outside so the outfit you have on reveals a few more curves than you normally would. And you can’t help but notice that primal hunger in the eyes of the men. They’re practically begging you for...what your moist lips can do...to let them survey the curvature of your breasts...more? More than that? What then? What do you want? Be honest. What they want, we all want. It is that hunger that drives cities, civilizations. It is that hunger that reveals us for animals who are trying desperately to caress, touch, penetrate...
That was the woman’s point of view, but done in Third Person. She really did think that men were howling after her, when maybe she wasn’t their type. But she is so in love with herself that she’ll believe that every time. Vanity.
I love to write about flawed characters. If you’re prone to violence, have a sex addiction, hate your closest friend and wish them dead, then you’ll end up in one of my stories. The problem is that characters like this, who are so self-serving, are difficult for a reader to get behind. So, for the stories I write for the public I keep my characters within a reasonable moral position. They are not perfect though.
The main character of my novel, Raymond Adams, lets his detective nature run away with him. He is not of this place--he died in 1947--and understands what he sees through a more conservative lens. To contrast him I added Jenn, the medium. She is in her twenties and is not as constrictive. When the two meet, she is in a nightclub, a strip joint.
Oh, I know, don’t say it. That comment you made just now came through even while I’m writing this. Why does Jenn have to be a stripper? Why is it the perpetual need of male writers to have that stripper in their stories? Can’t she be a lawyer? Okay, maybe not a lawyer, but why not a dentist?
Relax. I share your sentiments. But having these two types of characters plays well with one of my themes. They are both clichés. The detective in a trench-coat and fedora, who is a chain smoker. The stripper who spitfires insults at the main character, very often a medium and gorgeous. I know those clichés. I know them all. I’m playing with them for a reason.
Trust me a little as you read Absolution. I promise, I know what I’m doing (or at least I think I do).
Louis was very kind to offer an e-book copy of Absolution for giveaway. It's international! :) It ends on June 20.
Also, there is a big giveaway (INT) at Dark Mind Book Tours blog! It's running during the whole tour, that means it ends on July 3.
The book is only $0.99/£0.77 for as long as the tour lasts.