The Mesmerist is live! (Sort of.)

The Mesmerist by Joseph D'Agnese

My new e-book, The Mesmerist, is live on Amazon. It’s been published to B&N and Smashwords as well, but will take a while to filter through to those stores. 

Both of my novels could use some reviews, so I’m making a limited-time offer: If you’d like a free copy of either Jersey Heat or The Mesmerist in exchange for your honest review on Amazon and Goodreads, kindly contact me via my contact page and I’ll send you a file for your device. If you want to participate but don’t “do” devices, write me anyway and I’ll hook you with a tidy PDF version. (Paperbacks coming soon; I promise.) And no, I’m not afraid that you might hate the books. I need reviews of all kinds, good and bad.

Here’s the pitch:

Are you a think—or an unthink?

On the streets of New York City in the 1970s, this is the only question that matters.

In the age of disco, the city has become home to an underground culture of gifted individuals who can kill with a glance or heal with a touch.

A vicious madman is sucking the life out of his victims—crushing their hearts, withering their bodies, and leaving their corpses old before their time.

All with the power of his mind.

Now a skeptical young cop and a federal agent obsessed with the occult must run the killer to ground before they find themselves facing the unthinkable.

An 85,000-word urban fantasy noir by the author of the eco-thriller, Jersey Heat.

This full-length novel is intended for mature audiences.

If you’re looking for more discussion on this, I can tell you that the book is set in New York, 1979, which was an interesting time in the city’s history. It’s the age of disco, the age of the city’s most famous serial killer (Son of Sam), and the time of America’s first great oil crisis. (A gallon of gasoline hit $1 for the first time that year, which had devastating knock-on affects for the American psyche.) 

New York City was in a fiscal nightmare. Trash littered the streets; graffiti was rampant. Most of the parks New Yorkers treasure today crawled with drug dealers. The city was a crime-ridden dump because the middle class was fleeing the island for the suburbs, taking their tax dollars with them. The disaster of America’s involvement in Vietnam had wrapped up in 1975, but the effects of that war were still impacting the nation’s politics. Nixon was out of office, and Americans had elected a mild-mannered peanut farmer, Jimmy Carter, as their president.

And yet, at the same time, it was a time of great flowering for artists such as Warhol, Hockney, and Serra. Gehry and Pei were designing some of their greatest architecture, and the World Trade Center was nearing completion in lower Manhattan. Part of the novel touches on the art scene of the time.

And I intend to follow up this book with two others in a trilogy, featuring the book’s two occult detectives, Soul and Fisher.

As Fisher and Soul try to track their killer, they’re forced to make sense of the killer’s powers by researching books on psychic phenomenon. So there’s kind of a bizarre paper chase going on in the plot.

When I was a child my father was obsessed with psychic phenomenon, and I suppose I absorbed this stuff by osmosis. He devoured old books about men like Emile Coue, the father of autosuggestion; Edgar Cayce, a psychic who claimed to “read” books by sleeping on them; Edmund Shaftesbury, a quack and charlatan who tried to teach people the power of “personal magnetism”; and Thomson Jay Hudson, a skeptic who tried to make sense of these bullshit claims. 

In my book, of course, all this stuff is treated as if it is true. Fisher, the cop, is the skeptic; Soul, the FBI man, is a believer.

You can page through Hudson’s book here, and see some of those old-fashioned print block designs they used in books of that period, if that interests you…
Sample page 1

Sample page 2

Sample page 3

I hope this is a good introduction to the concepts of this book. I’ll be back in a few day or so to talk about the art world connections.

Oh—in the time it took me to write this post, I sold a copy on Smashwords. Yay.

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