Hermesmann, in his debut, offers a short parable about a wealthy man who has a heavenly encounter on the road.
A powerful, successful Vancouver businessman named Harry seems to have the world at his feet: He’s a stock promoter and trader who’s made a good profit from his recent investments in bull markets. Because he’s “obsessed with making money,” he’s in his element wheeling and dealing, and he feels more comfortable at his office than in his loveless 15-year marriage to his wife, Beatrice. As this short novella opens, Harry is leaving his office for a quick car ride to the city of Whistler, in order to attend an exclusive party thrown by a posh brokerage firm. On the way there, he encounters a careless biker whose erratic weaving accidentally causes Harry to blow out a tire on his BMW. He’s furious, but when he confronts the biker, he hears the last thing he expects: The man is his guardian angel, sent “by special permission from God” to question Harry’s inability to clearly see what’s important in life. In the fast-paced, intriguing conversation that follows, the angel—formerly a Roman soldier named Longinus, who was among those who tormented Jesus—gently and persistently walks Harry through his life and shows him the value of truth. At first, the angel meets stiff resistance (“the only truth I know is the value of money,” Harry tells him), but during his own lifetime, Longinus was just as arrogant as Harry is now; he knows the right psychological tactics to awaken the spiritual dimension in the businessman’s heart. Hermesmann fills this story with lively dialogue throughout. There are occasional moments that some readers may find inconsistent; for instance, Longinus, at one point, condemns the fanaticism of the Inquisition by saying, “How can you argue with one who pretends to speak in the name of God?” For all that Harry knows, though, that’s exactly what the angel himself is doing. Overall, however, the whole thing moves along at a clip that believing Christians will find very entertaining.
An often engaging change-of-heart story about an avaricious stockbroker’s divinely inspired transformation.