Swain’s latest thriller featuring magician and psychic Peter Warlock.
Having survived the previous thriller Dark Magic (2012), Warlock would clearly prefer to stick to his magic shows, where he excels. The trouble is that shadow people from the spirit world seem determined to give him grief. Are they evil? They certainly seem so. He gets pulled through a dark mirror into a different place and time, where the devil’s deputies mean him only the vilest of fates. Luckily, he has his faithful girlfriend, Liza, to try pulling him back. The plot requires suspension of disbelief, as characters die in one world and un-die in the other. Horrible things happen and then un-happen. One minute, Warlock is in his bedroom, and the next minute, he’s on the other side facing Dr. Death on a lonely dirt road. And then he’s back again. One minute, a man’s head is severed, and the next minute, it’s reattached. Though not exactly a superhero, Warlock is reminiscent of Peter Parker of Spiderman fame, with those special powers that are both his blessing and his curse and a girlfriend who tries to ground him in the here and now. This comparison is hardly a criticism, as many readers like to lose themselves in a well-crafted alternate reality. Warlock is a likable and multilayered hero, a good man who must face his dark childhood secrets and his own capacity for evil. He is lucky to have Liza, whose humanity saves him from himself more than once. But Holly, a witch, loves him too. Will she ruin his life? Swain is a master storyteller who fills his scenes with action. The book stands alone quite well, but fans will be glad to know that it carries the virtual promise of a sequel. The battle against evil never ends.
A fine read for lovers of escapist fiction.