A supernatural conspiracy thriller that offers readers a humanistic view of the spiritual realms of heaven and hell.
In fiction, heaven is often depicted as being full of wonder and beauty, while hell is portrayed as being full of ugliness and evil. However, Lancaster’s debut lays out a very different view of the afterworld. Yve, a high-ranking official in the hierarchy of hell, is generally a well-meaning creature who follows orders and does her job—however boring it might be—with precision and dignity. Once in a while, she hurls the odd insult at an angel to blow off steam. However, after several low-ranking creatures disappear, Yve begins to question her worldview—especially when clues about a 7-century-old murder come to light. Yve attempts to uncover what exactly happened more than 700 years ago and finds that the lives of all the citizens of hell (and Earth) may hang in the balance, due to an ancient prophecy that predicts the end of hell. Lancaster does a superb job of making heaven and hell feel much like our own world. As on Earth, their citizens have frustrating jobs, nosy bosses and complicated personal relationships. In fact, their worlds feel so recognizable, and their characters so “human,” that readers may find it a stretch to believe that these are centuries-old beings that possess incredible knowledge. The characters even use 21st-century colloquialisms amongst themselves, which seems a bit unlikely if the characters have lived for thousands of years. These minor flaws aside, however, the novel is a consistently entertaining thriller, with an engaging plot and truly memorable settings and characters.
An unexpected and original take on the supernatural crime thriller.