Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Canary List – Sigmund Brouwer

© 2011 WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs

Sigmund Brouwer is one of my “go to” authors when I want to read something that I will most likely enjoy. So when I found his upcoming novel on the list for review from WaterBrook, I snapped at a copy.

Crockett Grey is a teacher of special needs students. His life was turned upside down when his twelve-year-old daughter died of cancer. He lost his family and has to build his relationship with his son on alternate weekends. Enter Jaimie Piper, a troubled foster child who battles demons, literally.

The web only begins to develop when Crockett gets caught up in the world of Vatican espionage, spiritual warfare, and Church politics. We learn that as the sitting pope lies languishing in his bed, there are a number from the college of Cardinals who are jockeying to replace him. We also learn that one of those has given himself over to “perfect possession”.

Where does a special needs teacher fit in? His student Jaimie can sense Evil, and that Evil must show itself in her presence. So when she turns to Crockett for help, he finds himself fighting a frame-up of child molestation and trafficking in child porn. He doesn’t know who to turn to nor who to trust.

Fans of intrigue and spy novels will enjoy this read. I know I did. I give it four out of five reading glasses.

—Benjamin Potter, April 13, 2011

[Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.]

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Dead Man: Ring of Knives – James Daniels

© 2011 Adventures in Television, Inc.

The second installment of the new DEAD MAN action/adventure/horror e-series is available at your favorite on-line bookstore now. (For some background on the series originated by Lee Goldberg and long-time writing partner William Rabkin click on this link.)

Picking up where Goldberg and Rabkin left off from episode one, Daniels takes us into the mind of Matt Cahill as he struggles to make sense of all that is happening to him. He’s found reports of another person who has exhibited some of his hallucinatory (?) episodes that were chronicled in Face of Evil. In this installment, we follow Cahill for one long and scary night. He finds, not the other tormented soul, but his psychiatrist who has now become a patient at the Carthage Mental Health Center. The good doctor advises Matt to confront his demons with the right question at the right time or else it might be too late.

During the night, Matt encounters a sadistic nurse with an almost unpronounceable name, another nurse (ally or enemy, who ever knows?), a gaggle of gruesome aides, and an obligatory damsel in distress. We follow along as he trips down memory lane trying to recapture the memory of his deceased wife, as well as another frightening outing for our hero come back to life.

Daniels does a very good job tying his story to the foundational story of the series creators. One thing that I miss is the attachment to his grandfather’s axe which gets only a cursory mention at the beginning of the story. Otherwise, if you like action, adventure, horror, blood, and gore, you’re destined for one of your favorite stories. I’ll give it four out of five reading glasses, for the sake of the missing axe.

—Benjamin Potter, April 13, 2011

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