Just finished reading Paul's new thriller, The Beckoning, (Damnation Books, USA 2013). Here's my review:
Haunted by the murder of a young woman, a case in which he had to defend the killer, Lawyer Matt Brannigan struggles to reconcile his private notions of justice and decency with his work. He decides a new start is the only way to move on. Matt is a typical father, protective of his teenage daughter Briony and not always the cool guy he’d like to be in her eyes.
Matt’s world explodes when his wife, Helen, is killed by a strange coldness which suffocates the life out of her body. Distraught, Matt descends into his own personal hell. Soon after, his psychically gifted daughter disappears into Modewood as a ‘member’ of Brother Desmond’s well organized sect. Briony is on a quest for answers to her mother’s unexplained death, burdened by the notion she was somehow responsible. Himself a suspect, Matt begins to see a connection between his wife’s sudden death and Modewood. He must use every trick he knows, every contact, to find the truth and rescue his daughter from the creepy and very powerful Brother Desmond. Before he loses her forever.
Collins has created a thoroughly believeable world, with characters who linger in your consciousness long after you’ve finished the book. Along with a wispy trail of unease. Can the notion of supernatural forces really be swept away with the skeptical hand of science? Matt is a likeable and courageous hero, Briony a girl of surprising mental sturdiness (which is immensely gratifying), and lecherous Brother Desmond, a worthy demonic nemesis. Collins writes with clarity and ease. The multiple points of view flow naturally from one to the other, giving insight which does not diminish from the story’s impact.
This story tastes deliciously dank and morbid, driven relentlessly by disconcerting diabolical elements which kept me turning the pages long into the night.