by Edward Bonadio
Category: Fiction / Horror
291 pages; ISBN: 0595184308
Rating: 8/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Paul Lappen
In this modern tale of good and evil, Jake Haley is a reclusive loner living in present-day Oakland, California. His soul has become easy pickings for an evil that needs him to do the dirty work via voices coming from his TV set. After he lets the entity take him over, Jake's new job is to kill Wilson, the Mayor of Oakland, so that Cameron Parker, the Vice Mayor, another of the entity's minions, can take over and run the city properly. Several years ago as a prosecutor, Wilson put away Billy Martin, a notorious serial killer and another of the entity's minions. With Parker in the Mayor's Office, Martin will have a better chance of escaping from police custody.
Jake almost succeeds in his quest to kill the Mayor. He sets up a bomb inside a hotel ballroom where the Mayor is to appear. A lot of people die, but not the Mayor. Later, he sets up several bombs inside a school gymnasium where Wilson is to appear, but is stopped by the police.
Jake isn't the only one hearing voices. Oakland police detective Lea Moore is a rising star in the Department. She starts hearing voices, mostly that of Jimmy, her late partner and ex-lover. She still feels responsible for his needless death months earlier. Through solid police work, and a lucky break or two, she, and Arlis, her partner, get to Haley, before he kills more innocent people. In police custody, Haley fingers Cameron Parker, just before the entity is exorcised out of him by Father Rojas, a local priest suffering a crisis of faith and who has also been hearing voices. Lea and Arlis have words with Parker, just before Parker kills Arlis and Moore kills Parker. With the entity, named Matzorgein, defeated and with the immediate danger to the city over, the story ends, right? A couple of years later, in another city, Matzorgein lets Lea know that it is about to have the last laugh.
Is it possible that evil people like Hitler are the latest vehicles for ancient forces that conspire to commit great evil? This book explores how such a thing could happen. Is your neighbor simply not a nice person, or is the reason much more sinister?
This is much better than the average police/serial killer story. It touches on a lot of things, and it's just plausible and spooky enough to keep the reader thinking long after the book is finished. It's very much worth reading.