In a continuation of my series of book reviews written my Kosack's, I offer The Wrong God written by Paul Guthrie, a.k.a parallex.
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Miracles, science, faith, and not to mention fear of commitment after a recently failed marriage are all themes this book addresses. How devotedly do you hold your faith? Would you still hold them if you were tortured and your love ones threatened?
In an all to familiar America where money and religion pulls the strings of power, Guthrie has created a tale of miracles, faith and science.
Set in a not so distant future, a super rich industrialist creates a religious organization as a means to advance his drive for power and money. Preying on the faith of Christians he orchestrates a religious war against the Muslim - a new crusade. To further his goal of control of oil and power, he forms a Christian Army. But there is a bit of resistance in Congress to fund his Holy War. He needs a new messiah.
Meanwhile, John a brilliant physicist, unexpectedly discovered that he can move things with his mind. Convinced that this new found 'power' is an explainable new physics, he seeks out his old college friend Andy to help him document the phenomenon.
Andy is our reluctant hero. He plays his Taiko drums in his San Francisco basement and writes science articles. The timing was not perfect for John's visit. Andy and his new girlfriend are just starting to get serious. Maybe they should move in together? Obsessed with John's new physics, Andy is unaware where this miracle will take him and Rachel.
The industrialist, Mr. Murchison, learns of John and realizes his value. He calls John and Andy to a meeting Washington D.C. The message is clear from Murchison, the new found power is a miracle from God, and John is to be the new Messiah to lead his crusade. John, who is not aware of any message from God, resists. He runs away, convinced that his only salvation is to find others who have the same power.
Murchison, denied John, latches onto Andy as his only tool to capture his 'Messiah.' He and a handful of the super rich run the country, pick the presidents, but the trappings of democracy deny them the glory they so richly deserve. He can make Andy's life a living hell, or offer him riches beyond his wildest dreams.
Guthrie's book is so descriptive that it truly puts you into the story. You can picture in your minds eye where Rachel stands at the top of the stairs, where the ruts in the grass are from the fundamentalist car tires, the sound of the practice drum as Andy strikes it, and the deer path behind his house. Wrapped in a political thriller, he creates a book where you care about the characters. No doubt the insightful commentary on contemporary politics is important, but it is the relationship between Rachel and Andy, or the hug of a trusted friend at the airport, that will keep you reading. The book leaves you wondering what the future holds for Andy and Rachel. What brave new world and adversities do they face? The story ends at the beginning of an adventure, not the end.
What is the nature of miracles, science and faith? Can mere mortals find love and happiness in a world where money trumps both faith and science for their own agenda?
[edited to fix a not so minor mea culpa on character's names.]