Author: Sean Chercover
Performed by Luke Daniels
Released: July 2012 by Audible
Published by Brilliance Audio
Daniel Byrne is a priest working for a secret branch of the Vatican, the Office of the Devil’s Advocate, investigating the validity of so-called miracles reported around the world. When he is charged with investigating his uncle, the Reverend Tim Trinity, Daniel has no doubt he will debunk the claims of his uncle’s miraculous happenings in no time at all.
Daniel has been estranged from his uncle since he discovered Trinity was just a con man extorting money from his ‘flock’ and not a man of faith as Daniel had believed.
However when Daniel arrives in Atlanta, from where his uncle now operates, he finds things are not at all as straightforward as he imagined.
A very well crafted and exceptionally engaging story which, although it seems clearcut at the start, quickly evolves into an engrossing, fast paced and suspenseful plot with an interesting cast of well-developed characters. The writing has depth and the imagery is vivid, both in the characterisation and the descriptions of places and situations.
Daniel and Tim Trinity are especially intriguing and likeable characters, each troubled in their own way. Daniel because he’s growing increasingly disillusioned with the church, unsure of it’s credibility and still has feelings for his ex girlfriend. Tim because he has a complete epiphany and turns out to be the kind of person Daniel always wanted him to be.
Although the general topic of the story is religion, in one form or another, it’s so much more complex than just that. Daniel and Tim, both on a kind of journey of self discovery albeit coming from different directions, are embroiled in conflicts, within the church and with fanatics and mobsters, which result in a highly charged and thrilling ride.
The multi-layered subject matter has been well researched, including the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The aspects of religion and belief, both negative and positive, are handled and explored in a very astute way. Even down to the concept of someone being able to predict the future in a weird and wonderful way. And, although there’s an explanation of sorts at the end, would that really cause a phenomenon like the one described.
I love this book and am really glad there will be more. Luke Daniels’ narration is terrific, he does a great job with Tim Trinity and if he ever needs another profession a travelling preacher might just be the ticket ;-) He ups the tension with the action scenes and the menace of the bad guys is distinct.