Iniquitous Desires — A psychological Gothic novel set circa 1920. Tentative publication date 2019.


© Hanley Jennings Peterson

Behind unassuming doors, within unassuming walls, the Devil waits. For shocking criminality, of the most savage nature, takes place is his name. Men and, yes, even women, seduced by dark forces, tender their eternal souls for arcane knowledge best left to the demons of the fiery pit. But they have cast their lot with those foul creatures, damning themselves to such an extent that only the Almighty God at His most merciful could absolve them of their grievous sins. Our city has been compromised, poisoned. For nearly fifty years, the toxin has slowly, painstakingly, leeched its way into our populace. To our detriment, its grim effects are not visible to the naked eye. No, this bane deforms the intangible, rotting reason and twisting compassion into something monstrous and unrecognizable. It leads those infected to paganism, black magic, Satanic worship, human sacrifice, and murder. The streets of the city are awash with the blood of the innocent, yet it remains unseen, though it stains the soles of our feet.

A drug parlor, a brothel, and an occult society, all previously exposed in these pages, work in concert, committing acts so heinous, they strain a sane man’s credulity. Women, already fettered in the trade of the flesh peddlers, are subjected to unimaginable terrors. Abuse, torture, even death. Their tormentors, however, are not as one would expect, those hard-featured, besotted profligates who, pigeon-hearted, dwell in the shadows. No, the culprits are devils you know. A man of high finance, one allegedly devoted to serving the Lord, an industrial baron, and, most chilling of all, one entrusted to educating the minds of our city’s youth. These revelations barely scratch the surface, for there is an evil so black, so egregious, one dare not believe it. It is the fabric from which nightmares are made. Even our most guiltless, our most precious, cannot escape…yes, helpless newborn babes are served as oblations to the esurient Moloch and other dark, wicked gods. So diabolical a deed could only be devised by the fiends of Hell. How much more must the downtrodden endure, the children suffer, before we band together, raise our voices, and decry these despicable actions?