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Epiphany Jones

Published Date: 2nd November 2015

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EBook
9781910633342
£5.99
February 2016
Paperback
9781910633335
£8.99
May 2016
Audiobook
B01D0FFRH2
£18.99
19th May 2016

Description

A man with a consuming addiction. A woman who talks to God. And the secret connection that could destroy them both…

Jerry has a traumatic past that leaves him subject to psychotic hallucinations and depressive episodes. When he stands accused of stealing a priceless Van Gogh painting, he goes underground, where he develops an unwilling relationship with a woman who believes that the voices she hears are from God. Involuntarily entangled in the illicit world of sex-trafficking amongst the Hollywood elite, and on a mission to find redemption for a haunting series of events from the past, Jerry is thrust into a genuinely shocking and outrageously funny quest to uncover the truth and atone for historical sins.

A complex, page-turning psychological thriller, riddled with twists and turns, Epiphany Jones is also a superb dark comedy with a powerful emotional core. You’ll laugh when you know you shouldn’t, be moved when you least expect it and, most importantly, never look at Hollywood, celebrity or sex in the same way again. This is an extraordinary debut from a fresh, exceptional new talent.

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Featured in ‘Our Favourite Books’

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‘A scabrously funny and thrillingly original book about atoning for past sins and indiscretions (which I dearly wish I had written myself)’ David F. Ross

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‘By turns comic and shocking, an extraordinary debut from a striking new voice’ Michael Marshall Smith

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‘If Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and Caroline Kepnes’ You had an affair, Epiphany Jones would be the resulting love child. The emotional range of Epiphany Jones is astounding. Grothaus is an exceptional talent’

JM Hewitt, author of Exclusion Zone

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‘Through Epiphany we are taken down a very dark road into the world of sex trafficking. The author doesn’t hold any punches when it comes to giving the reader an insight into this dark and truly disturbing world. Epiphany Jones is quite a quirky novel. It is very different to anything I’ve ever read before. It actually left me at a loss for words, which takes some doing believe me’ Sarah Hardy

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‘Startling, inventive, funny and disturbing, compelling and oddly beautiful – Epiphany Jones is a novel that marks the arrival of a truly talented writer’ Kevin Wignall

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‘Complex, inventive and a genuine shocker, this is the very opposite of a “comfort read” Laura Wilson, Guardian

‘Michael Grothaus’ “Epiphany Jones” is an engrossing thriller and a dark comedy. It’s cleverly told from Jerry’s perspective, with his self-hatred, biting humor and creeping hallucinations to keep us intrigued. It’s full of suspense and surprises. The story gets pretty dark and takes us to some difficult emotional places … But there are enough twists, turns and revelations along the way to keep the reader invested and fulfilled. Grothaus’ novel is a captivating story that manages to be funny, sinister and surprising.’ New York Daily News

Author

Michael Grothaus is a novelist and journalist who spent years researching sex trafficking, using his experiences as a springboard for his debut novel Epiphany Jones. Born in Saint Louis, Missouri in 1977, he spent his twenties in Chicago where he earned his degree in filmmaking and worked for institutions including The Art Institute of Chicago, Twentieth Century Fox, and Apple. As a journalist he regularly writes about creativity, tech, subcultures, sex and pornography, the effects of mass media on our psyches, and just plain mysterious stuff for publications including Fast Company, VICE, Guardian, Engadget, and more. He’s also done immersion journalism at geopolitical events including the Hong Kong protests against Beijing in 2014. His writing is read by millions of people each month. Michael lives in London.

 

Website: www.michaelgrothaus.com

Online Reviews

‘With a sickeningly dark and complex plot, Grothaus has created a real page turning psychological thriller, that will have you laughing out loud at things you really probably shouldn’t’ Magazine.co.uk

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Michael Grothaus has written a piece about Fake Celebrity Porn to promote the book in Litro magazine

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‘That must be made clear. Some of the writing is graphic but it is not gratuitous it is there for a reason. Grothaus is NOT mocking or belittling these serious topics in our society. He has managed to create a work of beauty out of depravity. The narrator has issues and these are explored in a sensitive way. In every human there is a history. As a society we can be too quick to judge and hold court without all the facts. If you love Chuck Palahniuk you will love this. I don’t, as rule, like comparing writers but it gives you an idea of style before you commit to reading it’ Ian Patrick, on GoodReads

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‘This is not by any means an easy read but it is a powerful and affecting one. Grothaus acknowledges that you cannot just flick a switch and wash away the effects of sustained abuse and we have to deal with that as a society that tends to deify celebrity and wealth but struggles to meet victims in the reality of their situations. He will get inside you and mess with your comfortable preconceptions and as a journalist who spent years investigating sex trafficking in Hollywood he is well qualified to do so. It is an emotionally difficult experience but journeys of discovery are never easy and this is one that collectively we will surely benefit from taking’ Live Many Lives

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‘This is ultimately a very clever thriller. It is a book of murder, abuse, revenge, pure evil, with the wonderful and very odd Jerry. It takes you on the most amazing emotional journey, as we laugh at the daft moments in Jerry’s crazy life and then we see captured the depravity of the rich and famous. The darker moments in the book are so much more powerful, for the lighter comedic parts. Grothaus should be applauded for this incredible book. He is definitely an author to keep an eye on’ Northern Crime

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‘Epiphany Jones is quite a quirky novel. It is very different to anything I’ve ever read before. It actually left me at a loss for words, which takes some doing believe me. A very different but highly enjoyable read’

By the Letter Book Reviews

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‘The two main characters Jerry and Epiphany are both victims. Epiphany is a victim of sex trafficking and Jerry is suffering from tragic events that happened in his childhood. The way that he coped was unusual and in all honesty I found it very difficult to read. There is some black humour that I loved and the seedy side of Hollywood made a great storyline that was chillingly convincing. Whilst I didn’t particularly like either Jerry or Epiphany I had more sympathy for Epiphany. She was violent and unpredictable but she had her reasons’ Steph’s Book Blog

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‘I didn’t like Jerry, I did like Jerry and then I didn’t like Jerry again.  Now I have reached the conclusion of the book I definitely DO like Jerry.  The rest of the characters I’m not so sure about.  That is, except Epiphany.  Epiphany is an amazing character, quite possibly my favourite fictional character…ever! … five stars out of five’ Damp Pebbles

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Extract and Giveaway! This Crime Book

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‘A truly impressive debut by a London-based American journalist who has investigated both Hollywood and the sex trade and uses his research to best effect in a twisting tale at the same time realistically gripping and sardonic. Jerry is a nest of traumas: depression is his normal state of mind and that is when he is not having psychotic hallucinations. Accused of stealing a valuable painting, he is obliged to go on the run where he encounters a woman as complicated as he is and is inadvertently through her embroiled in the clandestine world of the film industry’s darker secrets. Their joint quest to make things right and find answers to the voices he hears proves daunting as they journey through Hollywood’s underground and are confronted by a deep well of iniquity through which they journey caper-like with a light touch as they tread through the horrors. Grothaus writes with a delicate fluency which contrasts with the depravity of his subject matter. Humour and emotions: what more could you ask for in a thriller?’ Maxim Jakubowski, Love Reading (A MJ pick)

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Despite my qualms with the book’s beginning, Epiphany Jones is one of the strongest and certainly the most original debut I’ve read this year. It’s a beautifully-written piece, and the author knows how to strike the right balance between comedy and real-life horror to ensure that he doesn’t alienate any part of his audience. Underpinned by a strong plot, Epiphany Jones is, nonetheless, driven by its quirky characters and by the relationships between them. Michael Grothaus has produced a mature and engaging debut that is sure to divide readers right down the middle and that, for me, is the ultimate sign of a great storyteller. Not to be missed’ Reader Dad

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Guest Post at Claire Thinking ‘How humour makes us love characters we shouldn’t like’

Guest Post at Reader Dad ‘The best writers are onion peelers’

‘Grothaus produces a compelling story out of these tensi.ons. Saying much more about the detail of the plot would spoil it, but it’s essentially an international chase to an uncertain end and once things really get going, you simply have to keep turning the page to see what will happen next. The writing, which is excellent, simply keeps things moving on. Grothaus uses a loosely noirish style … Grothaus deserves credit for tackling some traumatic themes head on (and Orenda for publishing the book) and doing so with verve and humour’ Blue Book Balloon

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‘From start to finish, Epiphany Jones is a moving, gripping, fast paced novel. There are amusing moments in parts but this is also such a poignant read at times, as Grothaus tackles these difficult subjects. This novel is full of conflicting emotions and disturbing parallels which gives the reader plenty to think about long after the novel has been finished’ Segnalibro

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‘This is truly my debut thriller of the year for some many different reasons, as Michael Grothaus has crafted a stunning debut that really will grab you from the start. Epiphany Jones is a rollercoaster ride of emotions, funny and disturbing all in one book with twists you cannot anticipate. This really is a highly original debut proving the Michael Grothaus really is a talent to watch.’ Atticus Finch

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‘One of the most impressive and original books I’ve read to date. Michael Grothaus’ Epiphany Jones is a blisteringly sharp and biting novel that will drop jaws with every revelation. Michael Grothaus expertly treads the line between outright hilarity and darkly disturbing, maintaining sufficiently steady a balance to keep readers gripped without . That’s not to say it doesn’t shock and appal – indeed, despite the sputter-your-coffee opening this novel is definitely not one for the light-hearted. Without wanting to give too much away, Epiphany Jones runs the gamut – from celebrity-porn addiction (which if you’ve read Grothaus’ journalism you’ll know isn’t all that fictional), the vacuity of Hollywood and the obsession with celebrity culture to moments which touch upon the very worst of humanity and some that are genuinely shocking in their brutality. It takes a very brave writer to take his audience down those roads and a very gifted one to do so in such a way as to keep them with him’ Mumbling About Music

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‘The opening line of the book is “Tonight I am having sex with Audrey Hepburn.” I have to admit that I have been struggling for a few weeks trying to write a review for Michael Grothaus’s debut novel Epiphany Jones that will do the book justice not because I did not enjoy reading this but really quite the opposite. It is one of the most incredible books I have read. The difficulty is what the story is about and the content. This book will take you to some of the darkest places in your head than any book I can remember. But it is a book I whole heartily recommend you read’ The Last Word Book Review

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‘Hard-hitting is a term which has been overused lately to describe anything grittier than Midsomer type mysteries, but in the case of this novel, it is the most fitting description. Dark, twisted desires, two unreliable main protagonists who constantly try to outwit and outmanoeuver each other, and scenes of sex and violence which leave little to the imagination. It may well be too gruesome for those who like their crime more polished and genteel, but Grothaus demonstrates a truly distinctive voice in this debut novel. For those who admired Stieg Larsson’s famous feminine creation Lisbeth Salander, Epiphany Jones will feel like the logical next step: the woman who refuses to become a victim’ Marina Sofia, Crime Fiction Lover

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‘This is a strong and at times shocking read, that challenges, and leads the reader into a world that could be starkly drawn by the medieval artist Hieronymus Bosch, where anything is possible, where people are trafficked, abused and misused. Not a lot has changed in the intervening centuries it would seem. And yet, there is black humour which relieves the bleak and complex meanderings of a deeply troubled man navigating his way through life’ Trip Fiction

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‘What follows is a graphic, often violent and darkly comic take on a thriller. Epiphany Jones is most definitely a genre-bending book. Echoes of the twisted Tarantino movies are intermingled with underworld Hollywood dealings in this truly unique novel. It is a very cleverly written novel and Grothaus has done a superb job in bringing trafficking and the seedy underbelly of Hollywood to life between the pages. Epiphany Jones is quirky, graphic, funny and moving in equal measure. The characters were so well written, and by the end of the book I was genuinely invested in the fates of the characters that I raced to the end to find out what happened. I cannot praise this book or Michael Grothaus enough for taking a genre, picking it apart and making it unique enough to stay with me for a long time’ Bibliophile Bookclub

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Q&A with Michael Grothaus at Trip Fiction, talking about trafficking, Cannes, writing and more at Trip Fiction

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‘A sobering read that left me reeling, yet also a brilliant depiction of a skewed world where style matters more than substance and people are reduced to product. The writing is raw and unflinching, the story deftly put together with a depth that offers much for the reader to ponder. It has been said that good fiction’s job is to disturb the comfortable – this book is an extraordinary read that unstintingly succeeds’ Never Imitate

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‘I think it’s worth reiterating here that if you want to get a real  handle on the dark social and political recesses of any society, that crime fiction is the most reliable narrative form to accomplish this, and this book demonstrates this beautifully. Not only does this book present us with a stark, and painfully truthful, depiction of the nefarious world of sex trafficking, made all the more powerful by the reportage style of Epiphany’s testament, but also challenges and plays with the reader’s sensibilities, and view of the world consistently. So along the way you will also encounter God, cybersex, the overblown world of celebrity, social alienation, and psychotic disturbance, in a sharp, acerbic style and at times underscored with a humour of the blackest black, and top notch satirical observation, which was hugely appreciated by this reader. Epiphany Jones is a real seat of the pants read, and utterly uncompromising. It’s graphic, visceral, mordantly funny, thought provoking and at times profoundly moving. It’s not for all, but it was certainly all for this one. I absolutely loved it, and big kudos from the Raven for Mr  Grothaus for such clever, risk-taking and challenging fiction writing. Highly recommended.’ Raven Crime Reads

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‘I’ve read a lot of thrillers over the years, but never one quite like Epiphany Jones. It’s unusual, quirky, dark, graphic and unsettling in equal measures. Michael Grothaus is a seriously talented guy and one to watch very, very closely’ Espresso Coco

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Extract of Epiphany Jones at Never Imitate

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‘I cannot say enough good things about Epiphany Jones, it was a phenomenal read and, at the end, it left me somewhat traumatised. I have concentrated on the dark subjects and the black humour but there is a love story lurking, a story of self discovery and a tale of a lost soul trying to be found.  This is a book that needs to be read – assuming you can handle it. Epiphany Jones is the perfect blend of thrills, comedy and darkness. It is going to take something special to top it this year, but I know already that this is going to be a book that I will recommend for many years to come’ Grab This Book

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‘Michael Grothaus’s Epiphany Jones is one of those novels that has you gasping not long after you start reading it and continue to gasp all the way through.  It is not an easy book to read as it deals with an issue that is as harrowing as it is brutal.  However, saying that, it is one of the best debut novels I have read this year’

Ayo Onatade, Shots Magazine

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Debut spotlight on Shaz’s Book Blog

Guest post at Crime Thriller Girl: ‘The importance of Dissatisfaction in Writing Well’

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‘Michael Grothaus’s talent is creating a world populated by initially unlikable characters that end up being completely readable. At times I thought of Douglas Coupland in books like Worst. Person. Ever. Likewise the backdrop to the story which exposes the dark underbelly of Hollywood is reminiscent of Bret Easton Ellis’s work in Glamorama and Imperial Bedrooms; explicit, raw and unnerving’ The Word’s Shortlist

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Photographs of Epiphany Jones launch in The Bookseller

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‘This novel may not be to everyone’s taste. There’s swearing, violence and a lot of sex – not necessarily loving and consensual. If you can get past the first chapter then you can get through anything else that follows. But there’s also love, loyalty and humour. All I know is that I was crying by the end of it. We may be only half way through 2016 but I’m going to stick my neck out and say that Epiphany Jones is my book of the year. It’s going to take a hell of a lot to surpass it. Extraordinary’ Joy Kluver

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‘Despite its violence and dark humour, the book has a highly emotional journey at its core and left me reeling and in tears. Epiphany Jones may be the author’s debut, but it certainly doesn’t read like one with its high level of sophistication, depth and talent. Yet again, Orenda Books has found a novel that will grab your attention straight away – from the very first line (yes, it’s that good) – and stir up all of your emotions (from fear, disgust and anger to sadness, surprise and joy)’ Off-the-shelf Books

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Q&A with Michael Grothaus: The Book Trail

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‘Epiphany was a great character – a woman who had faced the worst that life had to offer, but fought to regain control of her destiny. I’ve seen comparisons with Lisbeth Salander and they aren’t far off the mark. Like Lisbeth though, I never fully engaged with Epiphany despite how strong she was. I was much more taken by Jerry, his depravity and the (sorry for the dreaded j-word) journey that he embarks upon. He was complicated, likeable, detestable and pitiful all at the same time but I never stopped rooting for him nonetheless. Epiphany Jones is a marvellous book with a completely unique voice. This is Grothaus’s first novel and I’m already looking forward to his next one’ Louise Reviews

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Guest post on Portobello Book Blog

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‘First of all you should be warned that Michael Grothaus threw all the rules out of the window when writing this novel. I do like a rebel, someone who is not afraid to push boundaries and just tells a story. A dark yet often laugh out loud  humerous story.  It is vivid, irrational, punchy, intense and gut wrenching. And beautiful, insane, creatively stunning and has a touch of mad good lunacy in its prose. In other words it is utterly brilliant’ Liz Loves Books

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‘… as the layers of secrets and lies were stripped away I found myself drawn in … It’s an extraordinary book, raw, brave and does what fiction at it’s best can do – it shines a light on those dark recesses of society and forces us to confront the truth that behind the glamour is often something far more sordid and seedy. It’s a book that will stay with me for a long time. Hairpastafreckle

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‘This book is genuinely outstanding. From the first few chapters, I was hooked. I would even say it’s quite addictive. The story and the writing are beautifully unique and the writing is a revelation…. This has to be one of the best books I’ve read in 2016 – seriously…it is that good! It was a pleasure and a joy to read! A massive 5*+ I can’t recommend this one enough.’ Dave Hardy, Goodreads

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‘It may leave you reeling like it did with me but you will have just read one of the most extraordinary works of fiction you will have ever read. Some will weep for Jerry as a character some will weep for the blind eye that the authorities take on the human trafficking and sex trade that takes place. We all should.’ The lastwordbookreview

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‘Grothaus immerses the reader in their worlds and psychoses, their fraught relationship, their struggles, despair and hopes as they undertake their quest and navigate a criminal underground.  It’s certainly a hard hitting tale that pulls few punches’ Rob Kitchin, View from the Blue House

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Best Read for Summer Pick in the Sunday Express

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‘The book doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of people smuggling, forced sex and worse, the darkness is leavened by a dark vein of humour…. Grothaus balances the darkness inherent in his work with a brutally funny satire on Hollywood and celebrity culture. The result is a unique, often bizarre and always compelling novel that is, you should probably be warned, not for the faint hearted reader.’ Crime Scene Scotland

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‘Michael Grothaus is a daring author. Epiphany Jones is a dark, disturbing story that dances with the most sordid and sleazy of subjects and people, yet it is also quite beautiful and compassionate and incredibly funny. Epiphany Jones is a book that certainly took me away from any comfort zone that I have, and there are scenes that are shocking. It isn’t often that I struggle with words to describe a story, but Epiphany Jones is a book that is very difficult to review. .I enjoyed every page of it. It’s witty and dark and quite extraordinary.’

Random Things Through My Letter Box

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‘Michael Grothaus’s debut novel is a pitch black comedy, slickly plotted thriller about sex trafficking, the influence of the media, addiction and the need for hope and redemption and while it definitely won’t be to everyone’s tastes, it’s sharp, sometimes bleak read with something to say and it kept me laughing as I turned the pages … Grothaus is a writer to watch and I will definitely be checking our his next novel.’ I Read, Therefore I Blog

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‘Some books just grab you from the beginning and Epiphany Jones is just such a book. This is proper revenge tragedy, with guts, death, blood, pornography and downright sadism. This is a real bobby dazzler book with its roots in the finest dramatic traditions, made new for the 21st century. Epiphany Jones is a compelling read and a very worthy addition to the already very impressive stable of authors at Orenda Books.’ Live and Deadly

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‘I read so many books throughout the year that it is at times hard to pin down an absolute favourite. The one book that I am recommending to friends to read is Michael Grothaus’s debut novel Epiphany Jones (Orenda Books). Epiphany Jones has a lot of dark black humour to it and it certainly needs it due to the nature of the themes that run through the book. Think sex trafficking, an addiction to porn and a deep look at the human psyche. Not for the fainthearted this is a book that resonates long after you have finished reading it.’ Sainsburys Entertainment

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‘This debut is a cross between dark comedy and hard-hitting reportage pulling together tense gripping narrative, unusual but strong characters and a powerful message. It’s also strangely outrageously entertaining with the black humour softening the repulsive graphic sex scenes and gruesome violence. With all the attributes of a great blockbuster Grothaus’ debut could easily be transformed onto cinema screens all over the world and become another Hollywood epic.Crime Review

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‘Disturbing, hilarious, tragic and utterly compelling. I never quite knew where Michael Grothaus was taking us next when I read Epiphany Jones but I loved every step of the journey.’ Epiphany Jones named Number 1 book of 2016 by Grab This Book

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‘And finally, in at no.1 is Epiphany Jones by Michael Grothaus. I made this decision back in June when I first read the book and though I’ve read some amazing books since then, nothing has dislodged this book from the top slot. Dealing with almost unspeakable topics, Grothaus’ range and depth of writing is astonishing.’ Epiphany Jones is selected as Number one book in 2016. Joy Kluver 

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Epiphany Jones was selected as one of two outstanding books for 2016 by Bibliophile Book Club

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Epiphany Jones was selected as one of the favourite reads of 2016. Shots Mag Co

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Epiphany Jones was chosen as a top read of 2016. Espresso Coco

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Epiphany Jones was chosen as a top read of 2016. Damp Pebbles

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‘However, it is at the end, when Epiphany’s quest is finally over, when Jerry does what he does best and tells a story, that you will be truly moved. When you will shed a tear for all that has been lost and all that has been found. When you will realise that for all the humour, the porn, the abuse and the darkness, this is a completely brilliant piece of writing.’ Jen Med’s Book Reviews

Reviews