A down-on-his-luck gambler gets more than he bargained for in this supernatural thriller from Patterson.
Trent Hawkins, a notorious gambler and the famed survivor of a fall from an airplane, returns to Las Vegas with his girlfriend, Susan, for her new nursing job. Banned from entering most major casinos, Trent has few ideas of how to find work but is increasingly concerned by unusual weather patterns. Meanwhile, homeless Salvatore can’t remember where he’s been, but has a growing suspicion that he’s been involved in several killings in Las Vegas. Things come to a head when we learn that Salvatore is host to the ancient demon Zamagiel, who is intent on finding a young girl named Celia. Zamagiel, along with a huge, spiderlike smoke monster called the Render, find Celia in the hospital where Susan works and Trent is visiting. When havoc ensues as the Render and Zamagiel attempt to capture Celia, Susan and Trent have no choice but to flee for their lives with Celia in tow. Facing an unprecedented blizzard and an unfulfilled demonic prophecy, Trent must protect Celia and Susan at all costs. Patterson’s novel flows with eager excitement, a blend of Las Vegas gambling culture, modern cowboy adventure, biblical doom and videogame action. The characters feel well-developed, with villains that are thoroughly sinister and heroes that are damaged but good at heart. Trent’s battle to save his loved ones is gripping, even if the story sometimes dips into the formulaic. The details of the back story involving demons and angels can be confusing at times, but the novel is a satisfying adventure, a gritty, pulpy tale that keeps up the pace right to the climactic end.
A fast-paced fight against demonic forces that will appeal to lovers of supernatural thrillers.