The eBook version of my horror-thriller, THE SCRUBS, is out. It was first published in paperback a couple of years ago
THE SCRUBS is the story of James Jeter, a notorious serial killer with a sixth sense, holds court inside London’s Wormwood Scrubs Prison. He’s the focus of the “North Wing Project.” Under the influence of a hallucinogen, Jeter can create an alternative world known as “The Rift” containing the souls of his victims. Pardons are on offer to inmates who’ll enter The Rift. Michael Keeler has nothing to lose and little to live for. He’s sent into The Rift to learn the identity of Jeter’s last victim. It’s a mission where the guilty can be redeemed, but at a price…
The prison’s name inspired the story. The Scrubs is the nickname for Wormwood Scrubs, a real prison in London. I was thinking about names of places and things and how we forget their original meanings. You say Wormwood Scrubs to anyone in London, they’ll think of the prison, not why it was named that. I considered the name Wormwood Scrubs and pictured a field of wormwood in place of the prison and my imagination started turning. I turned my attention to wormwood itself. For those that don’t know, it’s a dangerous plant. It’s essentially poisonous and a hallucinogen. It’s what used to go into absinthe, until it was decided it was too dangerous. I had images of the prisoners affected by what used to grow under their feet and how that might change if someone with special abilities were affected by wormwood’s properties. From that I knew I had the foundation for a wild tale and I decided to have a flawed hero take on an evil man under the influence of a dangerous hallucinogen.
I know I’m biased, but I have a real fondness for the story as it pulls together so many elements and genres from horror and sci-fi to hardboiled crime. It’s a very vivid tale, which I think will stick with people. I love writing about damaged heroes and Michael Keeler falls neatly into that mold as a guy looking for redemption. I hope readers get behind his need to redeem himself while combating a vile antagonist.
THE SCRUBS is the first book in a trilogy of tales. The other books SCRUBBERS and SCRUB LAND will be finished later this year.
I released the book under my pen name of all things very dark, Simon Janus, to separate myself from my more typical crime thrillers.
People can read an excerpt on my website.
I’m really proud of the piece and I hope people will give it a closer look.