Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Laws of Invisible Things

The Laws of Invisible Things

A Novel

Frank Huyler

Henry Holt and Co.



In this suspenseful and finely wrought first novel, a young doctor's encounter with a mysterious disease leads him to a crossroads between faith and reason

Not long into Michael Grant's first year in his new practice, a young girl in his care unexpectedly dies. He might not have been able to change that outcome, but he didn't do all in his power to prevent it, either. So when Michael is asked to take on the dead girl's father as a patient, he feels he must oblige the family's wishes. Examining the man, Michael notices an unusual pattern—a white, serpentine spiral—on the back of the throat and in his eye. But before a diagnosis can be made, the man is dead, the victim of a mysterious fire, and soon Michael himself is experiencing symptoms of the strange illness.

Believing that he has stumbled across a new disease but unable to convince his skeptical colleagues, Michael sets out to gather evidence. His quest takes him into a wilderness of disease, religion, and mystery, and becomes a journey that leads him to question not only his belief in the order of the world but his own place and purpose within it.

Lyrical, poetic, and utterly engrossing, The Laws of Invisible Things fully delivers on the promise of Frank Huyler's critically acclaimed collection of medical stories, The Blood of Strangers.


Praise for The Laws of Invisible Things

“This is no hospital horror tale, but an earnest inquiry into the ambiguities of illness and the morality of the medical profession....The intimate tone of Huyler's elegiac voice invites us to...think again about the things we think we know.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A compelling, curious book with rewards on nearly every page.” —The Economist

“Gripping...Huyler writes such subtly forceful prose...that his novel takes on a cool, uniquely powerful sense of dread.” —Chicago Tribune

“[We] had better hope that our caretakers have meditated on the wisdom and compassion of books like The Laws of Invisible Things.” —Boston Globe

“A cunning meditation on faith and its loss.” —The San Francisco Chronicle

“Chilling, subdued and scalpel sharp...deftly plotted, rich with psychological and ethical nuance.” —Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

About the author

Frank Huyler

Frank Huyler is an emergency physician in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His first book was The Blood of Strangers (0-8050-6597-0) and his poetry has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Georgia Review, and Poetry.

Frank Huyler