David Grand

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Herbert Horatio "Poppy" Blackwell was once a daring aviator, illustrious movie producer, and brilliant businessman. A Howard Hughes-like mogul, Poppy has become a recluse with paralyzing fears of infection. Cloistered in the penthouse high above his desert gambling empire, Poppy's maids and footmen and lawyers and physicians cater to his eccentric, paranoid demands. Herman Q. Louse is Poppy's valet, whose primary duty is administering Poppy's "medication," near-lethal injections of heroin. Louse is just one of the indentured servants who work off their debt accrued at Poppy's casino. To ensure absolute cooperation and loyalty, their long-term memory has been erased and every action is watched by video cameras. But as Louse goes about his carefully monitored business, he becomes aware of a growing conspiracy against Poppy, forcing him to act as Poppy's unlikely protector-that is, until accusations begin to circulate about Louse. Dark, disturbing, yet acerbically funny, Louse is an unforgettable tale by a terrifically imaginative new writer.