The Eye of Espinoza opens in Binghamton, New York, circa 1952. An eccentric painter, Espinoza, is found dead by a concerned neighbor who notices that his newspapers have been collecting in his yard for weeks:
The cat weaved between her ankles and she nudged it aside. It protested and returned instantly. Emily knocked on the door, “Señor Espinoza?”
She put an ear to the door, opened just a crack to peek in. Droning flies covered the two large windows facing the street, allowing in a staccato of dim morning light as they shifted around. Overwhelmed by the stench, she summoned her courage, took a deep breath, and stepped inside.
“Mister—” as she turned her head to the right, a scream lodged in her throat. She backed out of the room, sank to her knees and vomited through the stair rail. The cat scampered down the stairs to lap up the remnants of Mrs. Smythe’s breakfast.
In order to resell the house, an erotic mural painted by Espinoza on the master bedroom ceiling must be plastered over. Then, in 2016, a young married couple, Kiri and Paul, buy the house. During a mild earthquake, a piece of ceiling plaster falls on their bed, revealing an eye. Kiri becomes obsessed with liberating the entire mural. Erotic details slowly emerge, and Espinoza’s painting has a strange, erotic and murderous effect on the couple’s relationship.
Paul stressed about the mural as its universe expanded like a filthy big-bang theorem. The ceiling was littered with naked bodies, intertwined, engaged in every decadent act know to man and beast. Paul yearned for a return to the time when their fantasies were safe, a time when he didn’t feel so goddamned inadequate.
The Eye of Espinoza is darkly humorous, very sexy, quite horrifying, and richly satisfying.