For more than three decades, bestselling novelist John Saul has been summoning macabre masterpieces from the darkest realms of his imagination. With each new book, his instinct for playing upon our deepest dread has grown only stronger and more sinister. He's never been afraid to push the boundaries of suspense and confront us with what frightens us most.
After his father's untimely death sends fifteen-year-old Ryan McIntyre into an emotional tailspin, his mother enrolls him in St. Isaac's Catholic boarding school, hoping the venerable institution with a reputation for transforming wayward teens can work its magic on her son. But troubles are not unknown even at St. Isaac, where Ryan arrives to find the school awash in news of one student's violent death, another's mysterious disappearance, and growing incidents of disturbing behavior within the hallowed halls.
Things begin to change when Father Sebastian joins the faculty. Armed with unprecedented knowledge and uncanny skills acquired through years of secret study, the young priest has been dispatched on an extraordinary and controversial mission: to prove the power of one of the Church's most arcane sacred rituals, exorcism. Willing or not, St. Isaac's most troubled students will be pawns in Father Sebastian's one-man war against evil-a war so surprisingly effective that the pope himself takes notice of the seemingly miraculous events unfolding an ocean away.
But Ryan, drawn ever more deeply into Father Sebastian's ministrations, sees-and knows-otherwise. As he witnesses with mounting dread the transformations of his fellow pupils, his certainty grows that forces of darkness, not divinity, are at work. Evil is not being cast out . . . something else is being called forth. Something that hasn't stirred since the Inquisition's reign of terror. Something nurtured through the ages to do its vengeful masters' unholy bidding. Something whose hour has finally come to bring hell unto earth.
Bestseller Saul (Suffer the Children) links an exorcism of the devil with a plot to kill the pope in this over-the-top religious thriller. When thugs at a Boston public high school savagely beat 16-year-old Ryan McIntyre, who's struggling with the death of his father in Iraq, Ryan's mother transfers him to a Catholic school. At St. Isaac's Preparatory Academy, where a student's disappearance and other bizarre events have caused worry, a popular priest, Father Sebastian, takes a special interest in the newcomer. When word reaches the Vatican that Sebastian may have revived a long-lost rite to invoke the primitive evil latent even in the most innocent, the supreme pontiff himself plans a visit to St. Isaac's. Those looking for a more subtle treatment of a similar theme might prefer Whitley Strieber's The Night Church, but Saul fans should be satisfied. (July)
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July 16, 2007
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