Shots ring out in a local fast food restaurant. Teenager Anne Hagen and her best friend Jimmy hide under a table, watching a suicidal gunman randomly murder her father and others. Winged Creatures tells the stories of the survivors. . .
Struggling to understand her father's death, Anne develops a religious hysteria. Jimmy becomes mute, protecting a secret that he and Anne share until it nearly destroys him and his already fractured family. Grazed by a bullet, driving instructor Charlie becomes obsessed with pressing his luck at a casino. By dangerous degrees, restaurant cashier Carla loses her ability to care for herself and her infant son. Dr. Laraby, an ER physician who failed to revive the shooting victims, turns to his wife as someone to “save,” while psychologist Ron Abler tries to counsel the witnesses, but meets suspicion and resistance.
Winged Creatures intimately depicts the inner lives of five people driven by secret torments and dangerous compulsions, in flight from their own memories and dreams, as they struggle to regain their trust in the ordinary world.ROY FREIRICH is a screenwriter and songwriter living in Malibu, California. Winged Creatures is his first novel.
“This well-crafted debut packs a wallop.”--Booklist
“The survivors of a gun massacre struggle with the aftermath in Freirich's stark, impressive debut. While emotionally charged, the narrative isn't weighed down with sentiment as the characters search for, but don't necessarily find, closure.”--Publisher’s Weekly
“A riveting debut novel about the aftermath of a mass shooting in a fast food restaurant. The author achieves the amazing feat of following an utterly disparate cast of dramatis personae through the vicissitudes of their lives as they are irrevocably scarred and changed forever. A sure-fire page-turner and, without question, has great movie written all over it, vividly reminiscent of Atom Egoyan's great The Sweet Hereafter." --Rex Pickett, author of Sideways
“When a life is shattered, what is left is to hold onto? Roy Freirich’s group portrait of the aftermath of a random shooting delves into areas of the psyche rarely explored with such precision and delicacy. A relentlessly suspenseful and mesmerizing novel from a brilliantly original writer. Winged Creatures is an astounding debut.”--David Angsten, author of Dark Gold
“A searing emotional drama of an American random shooting and the profoundly moving struggles of the survivors to regain their wholeness.”
--R.H. Weber, author of Homeland
“Songwriter and screenwriter Freirich’s debut novel offers an intriguing look at unique yet interrelated patterns of trauma and recovery.” --Kirkus