A supernatural tale pits an English teacher against an adversary who may just be the devil.
The students who enroll in Jim Rook’s remedial English class at West Grove Community College have no idea what’s in store for them from Day 1. It’s not so much that these kids are particularly ignorant or ill-prepared for the real world, though they are both, as that bad luck seems to follow Jim wherever he goes. As the world’s only true medium, Jim frequently finds himself embroiled in supernatural situations. The apparent ritual murder of a college student whose body is whitewashed and suspended from the ceiling of his classroom suggests this semester is dishing up more of the same. Whoever perpetrated this crime evidently wants to make it personal for Jim, who has an unexpected tie to the victim. Though Jim feels certain that the death is related to the mysterious Simon Silence, the son of a cult reverend and one of Jim’s latest crop of students, principal Ehrlichman refuses to remove Simon from the class. Without warning, Jim finds himself drawn into a world in which he is expected to question good and evil and must make a choice between the two. As he’s forced to decide, more people close to Jim are drawn into the drama, and it’s not clear who will make it out alive, including Jim’s usually well-loved cat, Tibbles.
Though Masterton's (Festival of Fear, 2012, etc.) plot moves well and is action-oriented, the condoning of generally abnormal human interactions by all hands may make readers wonder what, in this world, normal is.