I will admit, I got my hands on an advanced reading copy of this book, so I had the pleasure of reading it before the mass public. I was also surprised to find out that the author was Canadian (from Toronto, in fact) and the book even sited places I was familiar with. It was interesting when he spoke of traveling through certain parts of Ontario and I knew the hills and rock-cuts from memory. It added an almost eerie feeling to it because I was not longer trying to imagine the places he was in. I knew them.
The story itself is about a professor of literature, specifically religious ones, and how one day he was approached after class by a strange woman who cannot mention who her employer is, and cannot mention why she needs his help. He is simply given a plane ticket, a pre-paid hotel room in Venice, and an address.
Right off the bat the story grabs you, who the hell is this woman and why does her “employer” need this professor in Venice ASAP?
Andrew Pyper keeps the story realistic by having his Character, David Ullman, like any intelligent person, turn it down. Of course, where would the story be if he kept it at that? He twists the Professors life upside down (as sometimes life has a habit of doing) so with his wife gone, and nothing left but a plane ticket, he takes his daughter and makes the strange trip to Venice, to go to this address to see what his expertise was needed for.
What he sees there will not only put his life in danger, but his daughters. He is led through the United States on a mad quest with only John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” as a clue, and the driving need to save his daughter. The story has all the makings of a fantastic movie (rumor has it) and it is similar to all the good “demonic possession” type movies already out.
Granted, this is a book, but it does not read like one. I flew through the book in only a few days (I had to go to work sometime), I couldn’t put it down! It is a race against time, and every parents greatest fear. He knows his daughter is still alive, deep in his soul and because of the strange visions and occurrences around him, but everyone thinks he has gone gone insane from loss.
The ending left it open for a potential sequel (fingers and toes crossed!), opening way too many doors and leaving just as many unanswered questions.