The Cold Smell of Sacred Stone
Comments from George C. Chesbro
The final volume of what I think of as "The Valhalla Trilogy" (with The Beasts of Valhalla and Two Songs This Archangel Sings). After many years and failure to have Beasts-- published in four volumes, as I'd originally wanted, I find I've managed to produce three novels with major, interconnected themes after all. Pleased me no end. This was the most sustained and thrilling journey of the imagination I've ever experienced, and the fact that the books are once more available to people who might enjoy them also pleases me no end.

And, I might add, Hunter Goatley's web site pleases me no end. I kind of feel like I'm sitting in Hunter's living room chatting with Mongo's friends and my readers.

Although I like to think that Cold Smell--, like all my novels, stands alone, the fact of the matter is that the action is virtually continuous from the end of Two Songs-- to the beginning of Cold Smell--, so an interested reader might be advised to read Two Songs-- first (and Beasts-- before that, to fully understand the terrible risk Mongo takes here to save his brother).

In The Cold Smell of Sacred Stone, George Chesbro's dauntless dwarf detective, Mongo, returns in the most pulse-pounding and suspenseful adventure of his career. If he is to save his brother, Garth, from a fate worse than death, Mongo will have to outsmart the KGB, overpower a deranged killer with a special hatred for Mongo, and hardest of all, try to keep his head when faced with a terrible choice---preserve his brother's life at the risk of forever losing his love, or placing his brother in mortal jeopardy in an effort to win back his soul.

Housed in a super-secret facility of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Garth lies in a coma beyond the reach and expertise of the specialists assigned to his care. Only Mongo knows the truth about the deadly secret locked in his brother's cells, yet to confide in the doctors now would be to put them both at even greater risk. Left with no other choice, Mongo must initiate his own highly risky program of therapy.

The gamble pays off, but as Garth regains consciousness new perils unfold: It seems that Garth can now perform miracles, and he is soon surrounded by throngs of desperate men and women who proclaim him the "new Messiah." Yet as Garth fast becomes a national cult figure, he is also made the unsuspecting pawn in a treacherous plot of international terrorism.

Casting Mongo into a perilous web of sinister intrigue and religious fanaticism, The Cold Smell of Sacred Stone inexorably builds to a shattering climax as competing ideologies, bombs, and bullets ricochet and explode inside a unique yet paradoxical monument to love and hatred, loyalty and treachery, wisdom and ignorance. Peter Straub has already hailed Chesbro "a master" of the genre, but never before has proof of his reputation been so dazzlingly displayed.

---From the dustjacket of the Atheneum edition
Quotes from the novel
  • "I don't know what you mean by 'God.' If you mean a kindly old fellow who periodically sends one of his offspring to earth to do magic tricks, no [I don't believe in that.] The notion of divine intervention is a very old superstition, as old as our species. In its various manifestations down through the ages, the business of looking for, and finding, messiahs has caused us a lot of grief." -Mongo
  • "Religious movements, whether they're centuries old or only months, always end up at some time or another with blood and destruction as fertilizer as the people in them try to make them grow even more, and faster." -Mongo

  • "All miracle cures are psychosomatic..." -Mongo

  • "All religions are intrinsically against religion- other people's." -Mongo

  • "God doesn't feed hungry people; other people do." -Garth

Copyright © 2018, Hunter Goatley. All rights reserved.
Last updated 25-MAR-2018 21:41:59.50.