A Hollywood private eye’s search for a missing girl takes him to universes even stranger than Tinseltown.
To say that Stephan Raszer is a tracer of lost persons is to make him sound more generic than he is. Raszer’s lost persons have disappeared into the “underworld of cults, cells, and secret fraternities,” and it takes a special kind of shamus to trace those “hijacked souls.” Though a string of successes (The Last Days of Madame Ray, 2007, etc.) have burnished his sleuthing credentials, Raszer finds himself in a disconcertingly extended period between cases. It’s not just the impact on his financial well-being, it’s the pessimism fostered by prolonged inactivity. So it’s lucky for Raszer when Silas Endicott, a Jehovah’s Witness elder, unfolds to him an astonishing and grisly tale of rape and bloody murder, involving young people in his flock as both victims and villains. The latest development is the abduction of Endicott’s 20-year-old daughter. Does Raszer think he can retrieve her? It’s the kind of challenge he was born for, and of course he hires on, but even he can have little idea of how the journey will test and where it will lead—to faraway places indeed, not all of them real.
Readers drawn to the metaphysical, the occult and alternative realities will be most comfortable here. But even these may find Hill’s third novel too long and talky.