In this religious thriller, Proof of an Afterlife has been found, but powerful forces of Dan Brownian proportions don’t want you to know the Truth.
Ex-priest Ian Baringer is a marked man. Protectors of the Truth want him dead because he won’t stop his NDEs, or Near Death Experiences, which take him to see the whole gamut of Afterlife possibilities. His goals are to Know the Ultimate Reality and to visit his parents in the deepest part of Hell, where they were condemned for the unforgivable sin of sacrificing their lives for Ian’s when he was a child. But insidious forces—holy hit men—are determined to stop Ian from Knowing instead of Believing. (And von of de vurst villains talks like zis, vich is annoying.) Kleier apparently loves the shift key, because he capitalizes any word of possible significance, such as Faith, Know, Truth, Believe and, even, a few times, It. He’s also inserted footnotes referring to illustrative images the reader can find on Kleier’s website, which have a neutral effect on the story. Sharing the stage with Ian is the gorgeous Angela Weber, who serves both as Ian’s love interest and as a rational foil to his cockamamie schemes. “She didn’t speak Faith, he didn’t speak Reason,” Kleier writes. As Ian meets fire-breathing monsters and blissful angels, the reader needs to suspend a whole lot of disbelief. But—and how to write this without spoiling the story?—the ending is a cheat.
If you’re willing to imagine that Hieronymus Bosch once peered into Purgatory and painted what he saw and that Ian Baringer could do even better, Kleier’s latest thriller is an entertaining read. For others, it may be like passing through Purgatory.