A priest and a diplomat believe the antichrist will soon rise to power and that his forerunner is already among them.
Father Matthew Huntington, an exemplary priest, works with local youth and on missions abroad with U.S. Ambassador John Elias. However, nothing in his experience prepares him for a morning when the pages of his Bible start turning themselves. A supernatural presence guides him to read passages from Revelation to his congregation; Father Matthew believes it might be a miracle, maybe even a warning from God. At the same time, the priest’s friend and sometime diplomatic partner, John, has experienced a revelation of his own. An infamous Washington, D.C., psychic tells him that holy visions have shown her that the end is near, and it is just as the Bible says. A forerunner to the antichrist is already on Earth, gaining power as a messenger of peace, she says, and paving the way for apocalypse. “From the signs, he could be one of at least six people on my list” of possible evil forerunners, she tells John. “And of the six,” she says, “you are included.” Soon after, the president sends Father Matthew, John, and popular Olympic athlete Jason Armstrong on a diplomatic mission to Greece. Unsure of what these omens and prophecies mean, the priest and diplomat must work together to discover who among them is a forerunner of peace and who is working for the antichrist. Leodas, author of several mystery novels, knows how to build scenes with incredible tension, shifting character motives, and shocking bursts of violence. However, as a book about the forerunners to apocalypse rather than the main event, most of the story feels like exposition and buildup to more exciting possibilities. Several enticing ideas and characters, in particular a cocky Italian policeman, seem to disappear from the main story, which never achieves the same crescendo and excitement that Leodas produces in smaller, more intimate moments; a premature reveal of the true villain doesn’t help. However, readers intrigued by prophecy-based thrillers will appreciate Leodas’ characters and prophetic details.
Biblical thriller with compelling elements and characters, though it doesn’t fully deliver on its potential for mystery and excitement.