Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Knowledge of Good & Evil by Glenn Kleier

On December 4, 1968, world-famous theologian Father Louis Merton visited the ancient Dead City of Polonnaruwa, Ceylon, entered the Cave of the Spirits of Knowledge, and experienced a vision. It’s claimed he found a backdoor to the Afterlife, that he looked into the Mind of God and escaped with a secret so powerful it could change all humanity…bring wars to a standstill…end forever the age-old hatreds between races, creeds and cultures.

Six days later as Merton prepared to announce his discovery at a religious conference, he suffered a horrific death under mysterious circumstances. But the secret did not die with him. Merton left behind a journal…

Years later, beautiful psychologist Angela Weber and her troubled fiancé, Ian Baringer, are on the hunt for Merton’s long-lost journal and its door to the Afterlife. Angela, an agnostic, wants to help Ian heal the wounds of a traumatic childhood plane crash that took the lives of his parents. Ian, a defrocked priest, no longer trusts in religion’s promise of eternal life. He must know for certain if he will ever see his parents again, and is driven to find out firsthand what lies beyond, and what it holds for mankind.

Together, Angela and Ian plunge headlong into a global chase, pursued by a shadowy cult, dead bodies and destruction in their wake. If Ian and Angela succeed, they will defy the gates of heaven and hell to learn a secret hidden from the world since the dawn of time . . .

The Knowledge of Good & Evil.

This book is thrilling. That’s the best word I can find to describe it. From the moment it starts to the moment it ends, the reader is kept at the edge of his or her chair, breathless to see what happens next.

There is an intelligence to the plot that is lacking from a lot of the books that share a similar style. It is tempting to think of Dan Brown when we think of a thriller with a plot immersed in spirituality, but this book far surpasses the clichéd storied we’ve come to expect in this genre. What surprised me the most was the character development. That is not something that I had expected from a book that seemed to be plot-driven more than character-driven. I was glad to find that I had assumed wrong. Ian is a rich, complex character, well-crafted, with an obsessive streak that is a great contrast to Angela’s cooler, more analytical personality.

The writing itself is wonderful. The author does a great job with the pacing, which can sometimes ruin a book like this. It’s always either too fast, where the characters know everything, or molasses slow where nothing but dialogue happens for chapters on end. This book has a nice balance, which made it a pleasure to read.

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