The Big Idea: Keith Rosson

Enough is never enough. This statement rings true when it comes to the power hungry bad guys in Keith Rosson’s new novel, Fever House. But what about when that power they crave comes from a severed hand, and they’ll do anything to get it? Read on to see what all the hand, and novel, entails.

My new horror/crime novel, Fever House, opens with a pair of legbreakers – Hutch Holtz and Tim Reed – doing what they do best: terrifying people that are in debt to their boss. Hutch in particular was a holdover from a number of unpublished earlier projects that I just couldn’t get off the ground.

He was, initially, a main character in a crime novel, and a number of short stories, and none of them quite worked. I then realized that I seem constitutionally incapable of writing something of length without putting a ghost or robot or reincarnated medieval executioner in it.) But as a character, Hutch just haunted me. This huge enforcer with a caved-in head, a gunman who once mouthed off to the wrong guys and got his head shut in the door of a Ford passenger van a few times for his trouble. Powerful, but far from impervious.
Most importantly, Hutch, doing what he does, is a character keenly aware of the dynamics of power. He keeps his head down; the thing with the Crooked Wheel Club, the gang that dented his forehead in for him, it’s made him more cautious. He understands that people – like his boss, Peach – ache for power, and will be forever convinced they need more and more of it. Powerful people rarely hit a plateau where it’s enough and all’s good. That’s not how it works.

There are a number of ambitious characters in the book – David Lundy, the head of a black ops agency that’s wheeling out of control, as well as one of his agents, Samantha Weils, who kills the people Lundy tells her to kill – but none of them understand so brazenly and clearly as Hutch that old adage: power corrupts.
If there’s a key tenet to the novel – or, hey, a big idea – it’s that.
Power corrupts.
Transversely, I’ve heard before that fear basically comes down to two pretty basic ideas. One, that I’m not going to get something I deserve, or two, I’m going to have something taken away from me that I already have. When it comes to Fever House, a novel centered around a severed hand that induces uncontrollable madness and violence in anyone in its proximity, well, that’s a lot of potential power and fear there.

There are government agents who steadfastly believe they deserve the hand, deserve access to this totemic, powerful object, and are willing to do whatever they need to do to acquire and utilize it. That, to me, is scarier than any monster, any horror novel. This idea that people with tremendous power and access feel like they have carte blanche to procure and hold onto power, regardless of the casualties and chaos. Regardless of the bodies that stack up.
Everyone’s convinced that they deserve shit, see, to the detriment of others, and a lot of them are willing to step on some shoulders or bust a few heads to get it and then hold onto it.
And then they need more, because that’s how power works. Once you got it, it’s never enough.
So you got people that believe ambition trumps all, regardless of the body count, that wanting something means you deserve it, and then you throw in a severed devil’s hand with supernatural powers? Things start to get interesting.

Fever House: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Bookshop|Books A Million

Author’s socials: Website|Instagram|Twitter

%d bloggers like this: