Information technology consultant Robert McCabe continues his freelance evil-smiting against a bizarre trio of siblings.
In this distinct novel that defies easy categorization—part supernatural thriller, part (presumably fictionalized) memoir—McCabe’s brother-in-law, Tim, contacts him concerning a rash of heart-attack deaths in Portland, Ore. Computer hacking discovers a striking coincidence: Not only did the deceased share a cardiac surgeon, Dr. George Condon, but they all used the same financial planning firm, Condon and Chrome. Intrigued, McCabe secures a temporary job with Freightliner, providing legitimacy for his presence in the rainy city. Then, under the pretense of having chest pains, McCabe sees George Condon and immediately senses his evil. The doctor’s handshake produces an electrical jolt, and McCabe swears Condon’s eyes turned red and his skin green. Following the doctor’s recommendation to use his brother and sister’s financial planning firm, McCabe meets Lewis Condon, whose handshake produces a similar response. Because McCabe acquires the powers of the evil ones he encounters, he soon shares the Condons’ ability to read and alter a person’s heart rhythm. Combined with the metal-controlling powers he had previously acquired, McCabe’s new skill makes him a formidable adversary—much to the detriment of the Condon siblings. Although author McCabe’s engaging narrative voice carries readers effortlessly and enjoyably through this short suspense novel, the dialogue is often oddly stilted, a minor flaw in an otherwise excellent book. Superhero abilities aside, McCabe is an enviable protagonist; he’s easygoing and talented, with a remarkable nose for wine. Comparatively, secondary characters are one-dimensional, good or evil, although even the poorly developed characters don’t detract from the otherwise enthralling story. Enlisting his wife Shelley’s assistance to make the crusading a team effort, McCabe promises future installments in his evil-conquering series.
A unique tale well worth the suspension of disbelief.