In 1943, there was The Philadelphia Experiment. Years later, The Montauk Project. And now, Project Übermensch… these were not unconnected events.

Modern-day messiah or military experiment gone awry—either way, Geoffrey Cannon, a young inspirational guru, has mad metaphysical skills…

In 1943, unsuspecting sailors on the USS Eldridge are subjects of a U.S. Navy experiment. Sailors die, others are maimed, including Third mate Peter Smithwick whose amputated legs are restored through advanced extraterrestrial technology. Leaving the Navy, and fleeing his hometown, he escapes his dubious rescuers to go on the lam under a new name.

2024, in the tranquil mountain town of Kleary Creek, religious handyman, and all-around nice-guy, Orvin Littney meets his new neighbor, the mysterious and charismatic Geoffrey Cannon. While walking together one morning, Orvin experiences a heart attack, and is in the throes of death when Geoffrey miraculously saves his life. Miracles such as these, Orvin soon learns, account for Geoffrey’s cult-like following in the mystical, self-help community.

But Geoffrey’s life as a spiritual healer takes a dark turn when devotees are inexplicably murdered under grisly circumstances—all young women he’d had brief affairs with. Hikers and residents turn up dead, while rumors of a monstrous creature in the woods around Kleary Creek circulate, whispers of Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti. With events growing ever more ominous, Orvin comes to believe his “savior” friend, Geoffrey, is somehow at the center of it all.


Print length: ‎ 356 pages



Read by Patricia Shade

(15 hours and 45 minutes)


“A fun, fresh take on a SF trope with enough surprises to keep readers guessing.” — Kirkus Reviews

“An unputdownable conspiracy thriller that deftly explores the consequences of immortality and the nature of unchecked power without ever missing a beat. Busch ambitiously explores the moral implications of playing God and the ensuing existential crises. The protagonist’s battle with his ‘gifts’ and his pursuit of a normal life are rendered with poignant clarity, offering readers a deep exploration of what it means to be human.” —BestThrillers 

“A riveting exploration of power, morality, and the thin line between salvation and damnation. The character of Geoffrey Cannon is both captivating and unsettling, his seemingly benevolent actions shrouded in ambiguity and suspicion. The narrative techniques that bring him to life showcase a flair for original dialogue and physical descriptions of action that feel wonderfully cinematic.” —K.C. Finn, Readers’ Favorite 




Lonnie Busch is an award-winning author whose work has also appeared in Southwest Review, The Minnesota Review, The Baltimore Review and others. His awards include the Clay Reynolds Novella Prize, finalist for the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction, and the Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Award. He is also a painter, illustrator, animator who has created artwork for many companies including the “Greetings from America” stamps and “Wonders of America” for the USPS.

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