Alan Ryker is so close. Within a very short time he going to write a breakout novel. He is a well known secret among discerning dark fiction readers but that won't last. He is just too good.
This is the fourth book that I have read by Ryker. The first two were the Vampires of the Plains series which brought back the viscera and viciousness to the breed that has been missing since they were domesticated in the Twilight series. Even the cover is wickedly cool. After that I read The Hoard--one of the most original and discomforting books that I have read in years. That book literally makes you itch.
Now Ryker puts aside the horror and gives us a mystery told in a very original way. The story is told by four different characters in four separate, overlapping parts in third person omniscient perspective--which has the effect of slowly bringing the entire picture slowly into focus. Hitchcock would have really liked this story.
But it would just be a clever plot device if it weren't for the characters---and Ryker's hand contains all thirteen cards of that suit. From the damaged and chemically detached shop worker styling the hair of dolls, to the child trapped in the body of a seven foot tall monster of a man, to his self sacrificing nurse who truly cares for him, each character paints with different yet equally vibrant color.
If you have never read Alan Ryker before, then start here. You will definitely get a feel for his voice and skill. Beyond that, it is a hell of a good story and I am sure that you will be back for more.