My new novel, Lower Power, is still a work in progress, but I did enter it into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards competition this year. It was selected to proceed to the second round of the competition. Here is the pitch that was judged in the first round:
1992. New York City is a place of crime, racial strife, police corruption and the crack epidemic. A mysterious man – sadistic, malevolent and inhuman – turns an abandoned building in Harlem into the distribution point for a potent drug. As addicts flock from all over the City to buy it, local recovering addicts find themselves plagued with nightmares and relapse. Some disappear completely. Then crack-addicted Louis massacres a Harlem Narcotics Anonymous meeting, using an assault rifle he could not possibly own.
Raven, a biracial recovering addict on the verge of entering law school, survives the massacre. Dreams haunt her, and she is stunned to learn that a pregnant member of her N.A. group has also gone on a killing rampage. Raven joins forces with Juan, a journalist. They unravel the mystery, which points to the eerie abandoned building and the man called BG, who is now aided by corrupt cops (his “familiars”).
Raven and her friends struggle to stay alive, clean and sane despite BG’s progressively terrorizing supernatural power. The city falls into chaos as he unleashes armed killers. Police misdirection, a U.S. attorney campaigning for mayor, and riots hamper the City’s defense. Juan, Raven, a teenage prostitute and Raven’s recovering-addict friends appear to be the only line of defense against an incomprehensibly evil force. Yet, the recovering addicts are also the most vulnerable to BG’s insidiously attractive power. Will they stop him before they lose their minds, or will they be forced to join him?
A chilling alternate history laced with political satire and allegory, Lower Power provides a backward glimpse at a tumultuous era in New York City. It brings the reader deep into the City’s surreal drug world of the early 1990’s while providing a transcendent message of hope.