Publishing Date: Dec 2013
Publisher Description: Somebody has murdered the Angel Gabriel. Worse, the Jericho Trumpet has gone missing, putting Heaven on the brink of a truly cosmic crisis. But the twisty plot that unfolds from the murder investigation leads to something much bigger: a con job one billion years in the making.
Review: Fug me was this a great read. In one instant it is freakishly bizarre in the Angels realm and at once riveting as we follow our hero’s through the Mundane (earthly) realm. This novel has it all; characters so bizarre you have to cast your creative imaginings to a place seldom visited coupled with alien thought processes, compelling humanistic situations/characters, impeccable story-line development, creative insight into machinating minds of Angels and humans, and above all this hilarity in the guise of cryptic witticisms embedded in the antiquated verbiage of the 1920’s. I like the cover art except for the big red X on it. Kind of ruins the whole “Marlowe Angel” effect.
This novel reminds me of the ramblings of Tom Robbins’s, “Still Life With Woodpecker” if he put his twist on Angels, the realm of Angels and their universal interactions. There is this constant banter by Bayliss that provides comedic relief at every turn. His caustic wit is spot on and highly inventive. Molly, whom is set to take the place of Gabriel, develops into a wonderful character as she learns about her powers as a newly formed Angel. She is a great humanistic component to the story-line that beats savagely at the paradox that surrounds her life. She is at once hard edged and achingly open to love, much like ourselves if we allow life’s agonies into our souls.
Some passages can drag on a bit, but I found myself reading through them as it added weight to the story. Usually I relegate this to the author’s mode of providing page filler, but not in this case. These passages provided insight into the characters, especially Molly, as she trips and falls on her way to becoming a realized Angel. The author explains his bizarre universe in captivating detail, that is still hard to visualize in the context and scale, described. How do you visualize the universe and the physics that support it without adding your own visual experiences to help render it in a cogent fashion? Tough stuff, but fun all the same. Some reviewers had a hard time with the authors use of physics to describe and develop his world, to the point where there was just too much information that didn’t make sense. I get that, but did not get too hung up on it. I just applied our own sense of reality to situations and scenes where I had no descriptive insight.
Even if parts of this novel may confuse, I would buy it for the Banter and wit of Bayliss, the emotive and compelling, Molly and the mystery that unfolds within the story-line.