Born somewhere in Missouri more than a century ago and raised in a Pentecostal orphanage, the creature now calling himself Gelson Verber has changed his name countless times. He’s part-werewolf, and makes his living hunting certain kinds of bad men — criminals, rapists, thugs — in an often grotesque parody of the natural order. Verber is clearly suffering from the kinds of things a werewolf would be uniquely vulnerable to in the modern world: the horror of war, drug abuse, and isolation in the rain-drenched environment of Portland, Oregon. He has PTSD, but in a unique way, often flashing back to his time with a regiment in World War II.
His smooth life as a serial killer takes a turn when he falls into the crosshairs of Salt Street, a development corporation running pirated criminology software and Big Data sieves to identify werewolf hybrids, who are then forced into servitude. As he falls deeper and deeper into the trap that has been set for him, his introduction to its evil architect triggers within Verber a string of recollections, conversations with the late werewolf-hybrid, John Jack Bridger. The trap Salt Street has devised for Verber is masterful, but it does have one terrible flaw: you cannot cage someone — or some thing — like Gelson Verber.
Everything Under the Moon is a totally fresh look at noir, at the animal-in-the-man narrative, told through a unique mongrel of antihero/cursed iconoclast, who relishes the role of predator in a system so desperately deserving of one.
Tattoo artist, musician, and writer Johnson chronicled his colorful life in a memoir, Tattoo Machine, and here makes his first foray into fiction with a nasty, snarling bit of supernatural noir that’s reminiscent of the more gruesome novels of Chuck Wendig or Joe Hill . . . A briskly paced, splatter-filled crime novel to delight fans of directors Tarantino and Rodriguez.
This is the werewolf as you haven’t seen it before: talking like a Richard Kadrey novel, walking through Charlie Huston’s dark streets, and snarling like a Jim Harrison creature.
There’s a whole world out there, that most of us never need to know about. A world of predators and prey, and predators who prey on predators. It’s a dog eat dog world, and things are getting a bit hairy. It’s Jeff Johnson’s world, where the volume is always cranked up to eleven, the violence is cranked up to the max, and it’s just one damned thing after another. The pace is fast, the plot is racing, and restraint has been kicked into the gutter. And it’s got werewolves. What more do you want?