Friday, August 13, 2021

Review: Viaticum by Patrick Morgan

 Genre: Thriller


“Paradise has a price...

It isn't just a job, it's his dream job. This is everything he's worked for and everything he deserves. One job offer, and Ethan Birch's life changes forever.

Given immense creative control, power, and perks, Ethan falls deeply under the company's spell. His Beverly Hills office is a modern mecca, complete with every imaginable convenience and delight. Employees walk around barefoot on floors of summer grass while flowering cornucopias bloom from the ceiling; a utopian fantasyland the likes of which he's never imagined.

But beneath this paradise, a dark conspiracy breathes. Ethan soon begins to realize that to have everything he's ever wanted, he'll have to sacrifice everything he's ever loved.”


“Patrick Morgan is a novelist, playwright, and poet. A graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in theatre, Patrick has always enjoyed telling stories in one form or another.

After having spent a long and memorable stint in Los Angeles, Patrick currently resides in Austin with his dog Cider.”


This is a story that left me in a quandary. Am I glad I read it? Yes, absolutely. I was different. It was well written. It definitely kept me wondering where things were going and what was going to happen next. But in the end, I’m not sure quite what to make of it.

After Ethan Birch unexpectedly finds himself unemployed, the offer of a new job practically falls into his lap. On the surface everything about this job seems like a dream job. The work, the work place, most of the people he’d be working with. However, something about the situation doesn’t seem right and he resists as long as he can, but in the end decides to take the position. In many ways the job is what it seemed, a good job at a place with a largely positive, but kind of strange company culture. Then on a managerial retreat where Ethan and other top management are slated to figure out the solution to an unexpected issue things turn even stranger. At times some of what Ethan experiences feels almost supernatural, but possibly there were other factors at work that caused Ethan’s perceptions to be a bit off the wall. Then things start going downhill and where it ends for Ethan wasn’t at all where I thought it was going. I suspect there is a lesson in Ethan’s experience, but what I think that is might not be what you think it is. You’ll have to give it a read and decide for yourself.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK


Some adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:

My review is based on an ARC (advance reader copy) so I can’t gauge the final product in this area.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words

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