Set in 1968 in New York City, the novel starts with Dr. Roderick Hanley, a Nobel Prize winning geneticist, dying in a plane crash. This sets in motion a chain of events that will facilitate the rebirth of an ancient evil entity. With Hanley’s death, Jim Stevens, a struggling writer and proud atheist, inherits Hanley’s vast fortune. In the process, he finds out about his own history and the strange way he came into the world. Meanwhile a group of Christians have been brought together to combat this ancient entity. They believe that they are trying to stop the anti-Christ, but the being is actually far worse than Satan. Mr. Veilleur is the only one who seems to know what is actually going on and he is very reluctant to join in the fight.
I found this novel to be layered and enjoyable. The writing is strong and there is a good deal of dramatic tension. The novel took a surprising twist a little past the half way mark, which seemed to confuse myself as well as the characters in the novel. The book had a number of interesting characters. I liked the dynamic between Jim Stevens and his childhood friend who became a priest. To complicate matters, there is a love triangle between them and Jim’s wife. There were a couple of things I didn’t like. One was the connection between a person being a clone and not having a soul, and how that can lead to this evil entity occupying them. That part wasn’t particularly explained well. I also thought there were some story lines that didn’t go anywhere, such as the priest’s fascination with the politics of the day, and an orphan boy who couldn’t get adopted. Despite this, I enjoyed reading this novel and would recommend it.
Carl Alves – author of Blood Street