Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Soul Reader

 Gerard Webster's The Soul Reader, the continuation of his thriller In-Sight, is everything a sequel should be. Not only do we get to know the original characters better but once again the mystery of iniquity and the mystery of divine grace strive with each other for mastery. Ward and Carrie, the former lovers from In-Sight, are together again as they must deal with drug cartels, hired assassins, corrupt politicians and shady foreign businessmen. Their repartee is reminiscent of a classic romantic comedy with a contemporary flavor, tinged by the constant awareness that darkness lurks right beyond the edge of light. As they unwittingly chase danger they are building their relationship anew, although they are too caught up in the adventure to realize it. What was once grounded solely on pleasure is now finding a more solid base on which to grow into genuine love.

According to the publisher's website:
The Soul Reader is the exciting sequel to Gerard Webster’s award-winning debut novel, In-Sight. The two people Ward McNulty most wished he could forget were the woman he once loved and the man he still hated. He succeeded sometimes by smothering their memory under mounds of activity—his physical rehabilitation, looking for a job, and staving off foreclosure. But try as he might, it was always there—just under the surface, like smoldering embers embedded in layers of ash, needing only a breath of oxygen to burst into flame. And that’s exactly what happens one sunny Saturday afternoon, when Carrie Hope unexpectedly breezes back into his life.
It is a year after his father’s murder when Carrie asks Ward to assist her in writing a book about the North Beach Project, the money-laundering scheme that led to his father’s death. Ward initially turns her down. He knows that reopening the investigation would be dangerous for three reasons. First, it could cost them their lives—the identity of the man behind the scheme remains a mystery, and he would do almost anything to keep it that way. Secondly, it may cost Ward his very soul if he gets sucked back into the vortex of hatred and revenge that he has just escaped. And finally, Ward does not know if he or Carrie could survive falling in love and hurting each other yet again.
In this page-turning novel of suspense I must admit that I was completely fooled as to the outcome. I thought I had the villains figured out, and I partially did. However, at the end there were several twists and turns that took me by surprise. In addition to the fast-moving and highly-entertaining plot some serious issues are explored, not only about relationships and addiction but about the forces that are currently shaping our world. Mr. Webster shows us that the enemies to be feared are not those who would kill the body but the forces which can corrupt the soul. There is no power, however, as great as prayer and the powerful ones of this world are baffled by the mystery of lowliness and humility by which they are, or will be, ultimately defeated.

(*NOTE: This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for my honest opinion.)

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