- Paperback: 248 pages
- Publisher: Underland Press (April 17, 2018)
A car lies at the bottom of an icy ravine. Slumped over the steering wheel, dead, is the most critically acclaimed horror writer of his time. Was it an accident? His son Milo doesn’t care. For the first time in his life, he’s free. No more nightmarish readings, spooky animal rites, or moonlit visions of his father in the woods with a notebook and vampire make-up.
Or so he thinks.
Milo settles into a quiet routine–constructing model Greek warships and at last building a relationship with his sister Klara, who’s home after a failed marriage and brief career as an English teacher. Then Klara hires a gardener to breathe new life into their overgrown estate. There’s something odd about him–something eerily reminiscent of their father’s most violent villain. Or is Milo imagining things? He’s not sure. That all changes the day the gardener discovers something startling in the woods. Suddenly Milo is fighting for his life, forced to confront the power of fictional identity as he uncovers the shocking truth about his own dysfunctional family–and the supposed accident that claimed his parents’ lives.
About Michael BarsaMichael Barsa grew up in a German-speaking household in New Jersey and spoke no English until he went to school. So began an epic struggle to master the American “R” and a lifelong fascination with language. He’s lived on three continents and spent many summers in southern Germany and southern Vermont.
He’s worked as an award-winning grant writer, an English teacher, and an environmental lawyer. He now teaches environmental and natural resources law. His scholarly articles have appeared in several major law reviews, and his writing on environmental policy has appeared in The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times. His short fiction has appeared in Sequoia.
The Garden of Blue Roses is his first novel.
Connect with Michael
If you enjoy psychological thrillers, then this is the book for you. It will have you on the edge of your seat, quickly wanting to turn the page just to know what is going to happen next.
The book follows Milo and Klara, two adult siblings who have just lost their parents in a car accident.
Their father a bit of a strange man who lived his life surrounded by violence, alcohol and darkness, a large part of it due to the fact that he was a famous horror writer, and their mother a somewhat of an enabler to their father's strange behavior.
Instead of feeling heartbroken after their death, Milo is almost relieved and gains a sense of freedom, but he is by no means a docile and innocent man himself. He actually quite disturbed me in some ways, as it is painfully obvious that there is something very wrong with him.
His sister Klara is strange all in her own way.
The story is filled with twists and turns, dark characters, ups and downs and all around horror atmosphere that really does help set the mood for a fantastic albeit scary novel.