Jack Grimm has learned the hard way that you can’t cheat death. For 30 years – ever since the death of his sister, Cheeks – Jack had the unfortunate ability to tell anyone he met exactly when they were going to die. It was a gift Jack happily would have returned if he’d known where to send it.
No matter the day or the hour, when Death was coming for you, there wasn’t a thing he or anyone else could do about it. He’d tried exactly twice in his life to cheat death. Both times, he failed.
Ursula backpedaled into the street. Visibility was near zero and snow lashed at Jack’s face. The icy pellets seemed to come down sideways.
Jack reached out and grabbed Ursula’s coat, pulling her back toward him onto the sidewalk just as a Geo Prism sped past, its right tires clipping the curb where Ursula had been standing.
He twirled her around to look at her, expecting to see the timer reset to a number that gave her a long, long life. Instead, it read eight minutes . . .
Why is her death still eminent?
Why was her clock not reset?
Why was this happening?
Only God knows.
Perhaps the only thing that makes Jack crazier than not being able to reset the clocks of those he can see is the fact that he has never been able to see his own clock, leaving him to agonize over when his final moments on this earth may occur. He goes back and forth about whether he would want to know even if his ability allowed it, and why God – if it was, indeed, God – would give him a gift with which he could do absolutely nothing useful.
Do I want to know? He asked himself that. The answer wasn’t always clear. Some days it was Hell, yes, I want to know. Why would I not want to know? Decisions would be so much easier if I did.
Other days it was hell, no, I don’t want to know. That knowledge could suffocate you and drain every bit of pleasure out of your life.
Jack theorized that maybe God didn’t want him to know the plan.
Just parts of it.
And it drove Jack crazy.
Jack becomes absolutely obsessed with finding a way to use his bizarre gift for good. When he discovers there are others like him with the ability to tell where and how a person will die, he enlists their help to see if together, they can cheat death. Jack Grimm is going to stop Death . . . even if it kills him.
Into Dust is author Mike Kilroy’s fourth book, and without a doubt, one of the best he’s produced thus far. While the theme of being able to predict someone else’s time of death is not a new one, where Kilroy chooses to take his readers in exploration of this idea is nothing short of brilliant. Just when I thought I had the plot figured out, Kilroy totally pulled the rug out from under me and left me speechless.
When I asked Kilroy how he came up with the concept for Into Dust, he acknowledge that it took him awhile to figure out exactly where he wanted his character to go with his special ability.
“I actually wrote the first part a couple of years ago, but hit a road block and tabled it,” Kilroy said. “I thought it would be interesting to tell a story about a guy who knew when everyone around him would die. But I kind of hit a snag. Then I had the idea of other people seeing where and how and it took off from there.”
Into Dust is available for pre-order now on Amazon.
Learn more about Kilroy and his other books – Nine Meals, The 17 and Solo – on his website.
Shari L. Berg is the owner/operator of The Write Reflection, and a writing professional for 25 years.