Not for the faint-hearted, The Surgeon’s Son is an aptly-named horror yarn guaranteed to keep you turning pages well into the night.
After four young ladies mysteriously vanish and one is found alive with gruesome wounds, it’s obvious a serial killer’s on the loose. Enter Detective Inspector Marty Bride and team who embark on a thrilling manhunt as they chase their target, a real nutcase who delights in leaving tantalizing clues as to his identity.
The storyline and accompanying tension build beautifully, aided in no small way by crisp narrative and clever dialogue. Highly recommended for lovers of the genre!
“Two men claim to be the Second Coming of Christ. Each claims the other is Satan in disguise. But only one is telling the truth.”
Early on in the opening chapters the reader is introduced to David Shepherd and Michael Waters who have just come away from a religious man ranting in the street. On their journey home they are confronted by a mysterious tribesman who convinces them to come to his church. The tribesman waits patiently for their arrival and breaks the news that he is the second coming of Jesus Christ and goes by the name of Israel.
In this very moment an attractive woman by the name of Margret Magdala sits nursing her drink in a bar and meets a stranger who claims he knows the exact date of her turning her back on God and he can back his story up with truth. The stranger asks Margret to walk with him and follow God. His name is Joe and he claims that he is the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Both opposite parties, David and Margret eventually become strong devoured disciples for their chosen Messiah’s and go on to spread the word and recruit new followers while declaring the other Messiah is Satan. All this leads to a major political divide of liberal and conservative ideology across America, especially Washington DC and Coastal Carolina where the two different Messiah’s reside. Both sides do all they can to discredit each other through various media outlets. Margret with her goddess like looks and charm emerges as the femme fatale of fundamentalism, the divine diva of deliverance and the conservative community love her. David’s popularity with the liberal community soon sky-rockets as he is perceived as an avenging angel for all those victimized by persecution and prejudice.
Joe challenges Israel to a live television debate and the battle of the Gods begins. The prelude of this godly debate continues to dominate the headlines. The main stream media are pro-Israel, while the talk radio universe rally behind Joe. When the fateful day finally comes and the two Messiah’s must share the same stage, it is clear there’s only enough room for one Messiah and this is when the real battle commences with a highly unpredictable ending.
This is a powerful thought-provoking work of fiction that cleverly examines age-old arguments, predicaments and biblical interpretations that are commonly believed concepts by Christians with regards to their salvation on earth and what will happen in the event of the apocalypse and afterlife that follows. S. Pinsker clearly has a great sense of humour as he injects just the right amount of satire to soften the ebb of biblical text and injects plenty of twist and turns to keep the reader guessing the outcome while allowing the reader to think about their own beliefs and ideology. S. Pinsker also has a unique talent for depicting a conceivable pre-apocalyptic phase that will leave many readers, like me waiting anxiously for the sequel.
My Review Sites:
Amazon & Goodreads
A Brief Eternity
By Paul Beaumont
The Rapture begins on Jerry’s normal, everyday route to work. Jesus swiftly returns to earth to take all the believers with him back to paradise. Jerry soon finds himself transported up in the clouds to live a new life in heaven; however the last thing he witnesses on earth is a heavily pregnant woman holding her hands to her ears waiting for the trumpet to stop, unaware this would haunt and question why she was abandoned by God. After several weeks Jerry discovers that not everything’s perfect in paradise as the timing of the rapture was a mistake, due to error in software testing that had forced God’s hand with the Second Coming and that no one was really ready for it. In order for Jerry to save his girlfriend, Rachael and his family and friends from their eternity in Hell and the threat of oncoming Tribulation he must put them through the re-trial process, but first he must get Jesus’ permission. Jerry seeks the help of his mentor, Bob and his friends who are familiar with the passages in the Bible that will provide Jerry with a good argument in court, unaware his arch enemy, Nathaniel is out to destroy any evidence that may help his case in the high court.
Will Jerry succeed in his mission to rescue Rachael from an eternity in hell? If so, at what cost? Or could it be the main protagonists are left with a number of different choices?
There are over a dozen distinctive voices that help to differentiate the characters; one example of this is Bob, Jerry’s mentor, who has a distinctive east end southern twang. The general dialogue is easy to follow and understand and the conversations all stay on track. No detection of unnecessary or forced or unnatural speech patterns.
A Brief Eternity examines a number of predicaments and paradoxes that are commonly believed concepts by Christians with regards to the afterlife.
P. Beaumont writes beautifully, with rich descriptive scenes of heaven and hell, described in such detail, you can almost imagine you are there the whole time. His ability to inject humour, comedy, satire and parody to engage, entertain, provoke and question the readers own religious’ ideology is pure genius and flawless. I felt a strong connection to the main protagonist, Jerry who is initially naive, yet as the story unfolds he is forced to challenge the true nature and hypocrisy of early biblical scripture into his favour in an attempt to save Rachael.
A Brief Eternity has all the merits of a standalone post-apocalypse first novel however, with its unpredictable and highly memorable ending; I daresay it’s also set up for a follow on (fingers crossed) as I would love another instalment.