1960 — an American town, a 12-year-old boy from the wrong side of the tracks, an escaped killer found lifeless in the woods.
Champ Garrett doesn't fit in at school, doesn't fit in at home. He lives on an old farm on the outskirts of the sleek new housing development that defines the prosperous times; his widower father is on the road selling, his sister inhabits a world of the "slower" child who'll never catch up, and his guardian uncle spends most of his time drinking at the local tavern. All Champ has are his comic books, the science fiction movies he loves, and an undeveloped inclination toward science.
Fascinated by the Frankenstein movies he's seen on television, Champ rigs up an electrical device in his family's unused barn and attempts to revive dead animals found nearby, but he's never successful and is finally abandoned completely by the few friends he has for being too weird, too nonconforming. Wandering aimlessly in the woods one frigid winter day, he finds the lifeless body of a man and determines to show his former friends just how successful he can be in reanimating the dead.
Six months before, Jasper Leatherstone escaped Death Row. Forced to flee his refuge of the last half-year, the mass murderer found himself on the run during a brutal winter storm and fell, less than a heartbeat from death, in the frozen woods. And now he's jolted into life on the fantastic machine of a 12-year-old budding mad scientist and finds himself in an uneasy world of childish innocence and half-remembered nightmares, with no recognition of the man he was or the crimes he committed.
But Champ finally has a true friend — maybe one for life.
Dark and edgy, Leatherstone is an adult novel also appropriate for searching Young Adults unsatisfied with the pat condescending lessons too common to the genre.
"David Pabian's richly dark reimagining of the Frankenstein story is a haunting, sometimes disturbing, and altogether unforgettable reading experience"— Michael Cart, critic, columnist, and Founding Editor of the literary journal Rush Hour.
"Just when one thought that the Frankenstein story had forever lapsed into low comedy turns, David Pabian has brought it back to life in a small, brilliant, heart-breaking masterpiece"— Charles Simmons, author of Salt Water, The Belles Lettres, Powdered Eggs.