Grand Central Publishing
What a romp!
I had just finished a deep, insightful, and quite frankly, difficult-to-read novel, and Michael Rutger’s The Anomaly was the perfect antidote. I am not generally a fast reader, still I finished this book in 24 hours. (OK, I was on vacation at the time, but for me, such rapid reading is quite a feat.)
Rutgers’s tale centers around the often hysterical and periodically terrifying story of Nolan Moore, one of those supposed “experts” we are often introduced to on those TV shows that purport to prove that aliens do exist, the pyramids were built by extra-terrestrials, and monsters walk among us. That Moore is very intelligent and well-spoken does little to boost his self-esteem. He’s pretty sure he’s a boob, which makes both his internal and external dialogue hilarious.
The basis of the book can be found in a 1909 article published in the Phoenix Gazette documenting a strange set of Grand Canyon caves and relics, supposedly linking the American Southwest with ancient Egypt. Moore, with his camera crew in tow, is on a quest to locate the caves, though he doesn’t really expect to find anything. That’s his shtick.
The story, which can be labeled as mystery, suspense, and horror with some comedy thrown in, borrows liberally from well-known films. Which makes sense since Rutger is a screenwriter. There’s actually a giant, rolling stone ball – à la Indian Jones – and a horrid monster clawing its way out of an unfortunate reporter’s belly – think Alien – still, as silly as that sounds, it works.
The hunt takes the crew down the Colorado River, up the Canyon walls, and into the cave system. Note that this is not a story for the claustrophobic. Lots of squeezing though tight tunnels and brushes with bizarre creatures in the dark. What they find is … really not the point. It is the journey that matters and who is alive at the end to recount the tale.
I will admit here to being an avowed Trekkie and a lover of the original X-Files. And I read all of Eric von Daniken’s books about the mysteries of the unexplained as a teenager. So, I am probably right smack in the middle of Rutger’s target audience. But, even if your not part of that crew, read The Anomaly, just for the fun of it.
Anne Montgomery’s latest novel, The Scent of Rain, tells the story of two Arizona teenagers whose fates become intertwined. Rose flees into the mountains to escape from her abusive polygamous community where her only future is marriage to a man older than her father. Adan, whose only wish is to be reunited with his mother, is on the run from the cruelties of the foster care system. Are there any adults they can trust? Can they even trust each other? The Scent of Rain is available at https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780996390149 and wherever books are sold.