"Solomon's Grave" is a dark, intricate Biblical thriller not fit for Sunday School, but more than adequate to while away the evenings in suspense. With a solid first effort, Keohane provokes thought and inspires dread, teaching an important lesson: Providence is often the most frightening thing a man can face...next to evil.
Nathan Dinneck has returned home to fill a role he never expected - pastor of his childhood church. There's only one problem: his reoccurring nightmares. Images of demons and powerful angels fill his dreams. Eager and nervous about assuming his new post, he dismisses these visions as products of nervousness, nothing more.
Once home, however, things complicate badly. The dreams intensify into waking visions, interfering with his new job. When he encounters a statue in the church graveyard that bears a haunting resemblance to the angels in his dreams, reality starts to twist. Even worse, something is wrong in the Dinneck household. His father Arthur has stopped attending church and joined a new "men's group" which holds secretive meetings in an old storefront shop on Main Street. A chilly rift has formed between his father and mother, leaving Nate confused and worried.
Is this new group just a bunch of guys talking about sports, eating pizza and drinking beer, or is it more? Why is this new group's leader, an enigmatic man named Peter Quinn, so interested in the new pastor of Hillcrest? Add a secretive, withdrawn cemetery caretaker and a high school love he can't shake, and Nathan is faced with a dark mystery that may take his life, perhaps even his soul.
"Solomon's Grave" is a satisfying entry into the recently popular genre of "Christian/Biblical Horror". Though very different from the visceral, bloody "Orgy of Souls" (Broaddus, White), it succeeds where "Souls" does, in that it paints outside the lines of doctrine, fleshes out realistic characters, and the story itself is the priority, not an evangelical agenda. Keohane wraps up the immediate story well, but also leaves enough room at the novel's end for us to wonder what Nathan Dinneck's ultimate fate will be.
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