In the Arkansas Ozarks, old-timers spin tales of the Wowzer, a giant panther-like creature that decapitates those who wander too far into the woods. County sheriff’s deputy Jerry was raised on Wowzer stories, but they aren’t enough to stop him from carrying out his own business in the remote hills. Jerry’s more than a sheriff’s deputy; he moonlights as muscle for local drug traffickers, who sometimes need people to get hurt—or get dead. Fortunately, Jerry’s pretty good at his job. And since Tom Haskell runs the sheriff’s office and the drug-protection racket, Jerry doesn’t see much of a moral dilemma. That is, until he starts thinking about getting out of the trade, and then things get complicated fast. For starters, Jerry’s girl Maggie flees the state after learning about a disturbing diagnosis tucked inside Jerry’s psych report. And now Sheriff Haskell is dragging his feet paying Jerry his cut of the drug money. Is Haskell just reluctant to lose his top muscle? Or is he plotting to take out the man who knows his dirtiest secrets? Fans of hardboiled, “country noir” fiction will love gnashing on Frank Wheeler’s violent and darkly comic debut, sneaking a glimpse into the mind of a killer whose inner monster is about to be unleashed.
What people are saying about The Wowzer…
“‘The Wowzer’ is a profane, violent, strangely captivating romance. Jerry is unlikely, amazing, even absurdly impossible — this cuddly sociopath.”
– Vick Mickunas, Dayton Daily News (Read the entire review here)
“Frank Wheeler is a bright new talent in the farmhouse, and The Wowzer kicks in the kitchen window. I can’t wait to see what he cooks up next.”
–Sean Doolittle, author of Safer
“The Wowzer is killer blues guitar meets Jim Thompson in the drug-haunts of the Deep South. Think John Lee Hooker in concert, with Sonny Boy Williamson screaming on harmonica. Have your pistol handy as you read, it’s that badass. Frank Wheeler is ‘Bad Like Jesse James’ and The Wowzer is pure Arkansas white-lightning.”
–Scott Wolven, author of the critically acclaimed Controlled Burn
The Tricky Business of a Killer Protagonist, a review of The Wowzer.
– Jedidiah-Ayres May, Hardboiled Wonderland (Read the entire review here)
“It will be simply astounding to me if The Wowzer isn’t on some Year’s Best-type lists come January 2013.”
– Dubious Virtues (Read the entire review here)
“A Southern gothic story takes the reader into the mind of a dangerous man who doesn’t know he is so dangerous.”
– Amy Phelps, NewsAndSentinel.com (Read the entire review here)