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The latest thriller from Christer.

The novel has two storylines, reinforcing the idea that evil is forever. In 666 B.C., the wife of a seer is raped, and the child she later bears is the rapist’s. Meanwhile, she and her husband create a set of silver tablets representing the gates of hell. Evil forces lust after their creation and are still hunting for it in 18th-century Venice. In the present-day storyline, 32-year-old Father Tom Shaman (A priest named Shaman. Get it?) accidentally kills two thugs in Los Angeles while trying to rescue a woman who is being raped. Exonerated but distraught, he quits the priesthood and goes to Venice to start a new life. Immediately, he finds a dead body and then a live one—a beautiful woman who picks him up in a cafe and promptly deflowers him. The dead girl has 666 wounds in her body. Police quickly dismiss Tom as a suspect but persuade him to consult on the possibility that a Satanist is on the loose. That evil number crops up again and again, including a 666-square-foot room and the climactic event taking place at 6 a.m. on June 6. The novel is even divided into six parts. By the end, the reader is spitting sixes. The other maddening matter is the abundance of short, declarative sentences. And sentence fragments galore. And the ubiquitous present tense. The novel’s premise isn’t a bad one; Satan is one tough hombre whose power on Earth rivals God’s. Every earthly disaster is the work of Satan, who seems quite able to fight the deity to a draw. There’s plenty of good material for Christer to work with, and he deserves credit for his forensic and historical research. If only he wouldn’t whack the reader upside the head 666 times with his symbolism.

This book could have been far better.

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4683-0049-9
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Overlook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2012


FictionTHE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD & EVIL by Glenn Kleier
by Glenn Kleier