The fifth volume in the Vampire Lestat chronicles (The Tale of the Body Thief, etc.) finds Lestat pitted against the greatest adversaries of his bloody life: God and the Devil. Rice's richly descriptive latest--the best plotted of the series--is less horror novel than a knockoff of Dostoevsky's theological battles. Lestat is obsessed by Roger Flynn, a handsome billionaire cocaine smuggler whom he stalks for months and at last kills and dismembers. Then surprise: Roger's ghost turns up drinking Southern Comfort on a Manhattan barstool beside Lestat. All Roger wants is for Lestat to deliver some laundered cash and a trove of religious relics to his daughter, Dora, a New Orleans televangelist. The relics include a fake Veronica's Veil, perhaps 400 years old. Lestat flies Dora by batpower to Manhattan, shows her the apartment full of Roger's fabulous relics and cash. But Lestat hears the Hound of Heaven chasing him, which is also Memnoch the Devil (Satan), who takes Lestat to Limbo, engages him in cosmic chat about evil, and tries to get him to join him as co-ruler in Hell. Memnoch, a fantastic altruist, fights God for the betterment of mankind, especially for souls in Hell who someday deserve to go upstairs to Heaven. Then, after a huge chat with God, who tries to sign Lestat up for His team, the immortal vampire joins Jesus on the way to Calvary, is given the true Veronica's Veil after Christ imprints his bloody face on it, and has a horrific tour of Hell, full of souls trying to wash away their sins. Will Lestat choose Heaven or Hell? And will he get the real Veronica's Veil back to Dora? Not Christ and the Grand Inquisitor, but a vastly daring change of pace for the atheist Lestat, a tormented Ivan Karamazov tied into spiritual knots and left disbelieving his own senses.