Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Prophet, The New Brotherhood by K. J. Dahlen

A fundamental truth tumbles out of this mystery/thriller, although not a truth people consider on a daily basis. Perhaps they should. The basic question is: just how far will a group of believers go to protect and follow their leader, false prophet or not? If requested to do so, will they willingly walk into the valley of death with trusting hearts? I liked the underlying theme of this book, knowing in advance that those with the mentality of sheep are at the mercy of the wolf. The good vs. evil theme takes the reader on a terrifying ride through years of serial killings, and brings many impacted by the quiet rampage of a charismatic prophet to the brink of death. Beginning with a simple gathering of believers, the plot grows into a larger conspiracy with each page as the heroes attempt to put an end to the trail of destruction and ruined lives the Brotherhood leaves across the nation. At one point, I even found myself mentally encouraging the main character, “Shoot him! Shoot him while you can!” as the Prophet slips away yet again. In short, I liked the story. It was compelling, if not a little frightening. I was surprised by the ending. I won’t spoil it for anyone, but I still wonder if women across the country will continue to be murdered by straggler followers. They have their instructions, but will they follow them? Something to ponder: What would happen in real life?

While The Prophet, The New Brotherhood was a fun read, I would have appreciated more thorough editing. The story held together well, but would have had much greater impact with a severe scrub. Some of my heartburn is with technical issues few will recognize, such as the use of “blonde” for a male’s hair color (“blond” for males). Some sentences didn’t make sense, like “Jeff called his surveillance term in watch the St Clair house.” Yes, I understood Jeff called his team in to watch the house, but the mental gyration on my part should not have been required. I just wanted to read the story, not fix it. In one instance, names are confused; in another a car and truck are interchanged. Incorrect words and tense appeared often enough to be distracting, but repetition was my greatest problem. Overuse of variations of the word “look” and inadvertent repetition filled the pages (heart beat in his chest, thought in my mind, etc.).

My views on editing aside, I would still rank this book as a four-star read. The plot and theme were interesting, and the story held my attention from beginning to end.

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