What haunting legacy awaits deep beneath the barrios and wealthy enclaves of Southern California? An idyllic Spanish mission collapses in the eighteenth century atop the supernatural evidence of a shocking crime. Twelve generations later the ground is opened up, the forgotten ruins are disturbed, and rich and poor alike confront the onslaught of resurging hell on earth. Caught up in the catastrophe are… • A humble shopkeeper compelled to leave her tiny village deep in Mexico to preach in America • A minister wracked with guilt for loving the wrong woman • An unimaginably wealthy man, blinded to the consequences of his grand plans • A devoted father and husband driven to a horrible discovery that changes everything Will the evil that destroyed the Misión de Santa Dolores rise to overwhelm them? Or will they beat back the terrible desires that led to the mission’s good Franciscan founder’s standing in the midst of flames ignited by his enemies and friends alike more than two centuries ago? From the high Sierra Madre mountains to the harsh Sonoran desert, from the privileged world of millionaire moguls to the impoverished immigrants who serve them, Athol Dickson once again weaves a gripping story of suspense that spans centuries and cultures to explore the abiding possibility of miracles.
My take: 4 looks
I must say that, for the Christian fiction genre, this book is at the top of my list. More like historical fiction, it grabbed me from the beginning. The story is a very good one, but the way Dickson moves between the 1700s and present-day in such a clever, fluid way that I found it a very compelling way to write. The transition sentences are beautifully done, making the back-and-forth seem natural and not confusing.
With respect to the religious genre, this one is brilliant. As the telling of an ancient Catholic mission, the foundational story of evangelism for Jesus Christ is a given, so there are no surprises with the storyline. It is presented as an innate part of being a believer and I didn’t find it preachy at all.
This is the second Dickson book I have read, “The Cure” was the first. I had issues with that first novel, but the strength of this one is enough to have me revisit “The Cure”.