Originally published in hardcover by Mark V. Ziesing in late 1991, Wetbones -- now in mass market paperback from Leisure -- is an entertaining yet metaphysically complex novel of darkness and redemption that few writers of any stripe can equal. A fast-paced thriller, it's also a disturbingly horrific story concerning the power of various addictions conveyed through a metaphor of supernatural evil. Threading a cast of convincing characters through several tightly woven plotlines, Shirley reveals the depravities of addiction against a background of both Hollywood excess and mean street reality. Screenwriter Tom Prentice, is haunted by the death of his ex-wife whose body is found strangely desiccated and utterly drained of all traces of life. Prentice, helping friend Jeff Teitelbaum find his missing teen brother Mitch, begins to find disturbing answers about himself as well as clues to an overwhelming evil. The Reverend Garner's daughter, Constance, is missing. Taken by a twisted serial killer, Ephram Pixie, Constance is mentally "rewired" by this human monster and forced into sexual and murderous acts that threaten to corrupt her very soul. A recovering addict, Garner's initial failure to save his daughter makes him lose his belief in himself and doubt God. Involved in it all are the Akishra, invisible psychic parasites -- "astral worms" -- that feed on human addiction and weakness. Shirley mixes his noted heat-up-the-amps and lay-down-the-riffs writing style with visceral, kick-out-the jams imagery ("The sickly, silver-grey protoplasm of wormstuff had grown out of her mouth and eyes and out from psychic pressure points in her throat and temples -- the worm had taken her over and grown to surround her, its great lamprey mouth, ringed and razored, turning toward him when she looked his way...its body, thick as a primed firehouse, sliding through her body like a maggot through rot. Sliding through her. Squirming. A part of her and independent from her, as she calmly drove the car...") for a set you'll never forget. Wetbones is not to be missed.