Michael J. Sullivan
Gallery (Simon & Schuster), Mar 302 2010, $15.00
When his wife died giving birth to their daughter Elizabeth fourteen years ago, Michael lost his faith and most of his heart was interred with his spouse. The only person he cherishes is his offspring as he keeps everyone else at a distance.
One day when the father and daughter are carrying crates into their church, they find a trap door in the sub-basement. Unable to resist, they enter and begin walking a long tunnel. When they finally exit, the duo find themselves in Jerusalem one week before the execution of Christ.
Initially the time travels assume they stumbled into an incredible movie set, but soon realize otherwise when they observe a Roman soldier harming a man. They intercede only to have Mike incarcerated in the same prison as the person he tried to liberate. Another Roman soldier helps Mike escape, but later learns he wants something from him: Elizabeth. The man blocks the entrance to the tunnel forcing the Sullivan duet to remain in first century Jerusalem. Leah, who believes Mike should know her, provides food and shelter. As attraction between her and Mike grows but they know he and his child do not belong there. Leah is willing to sacrifice herself if needed to enable the love of her life and his daughter to go home.
Michael J. Sullivan has written an exciting refreshing biblical thriller in which his namesake hero meets Jesus who prophesized his coming and a who’s who of the final days. The story line adheres to the Bible yet provides a secular spin with no preaching. Readers will enjoy this fine tale of two people displaced in time and place; people who have a role as frustrated watchers of the last days of Christ; unable to change what they knows as history. Harriet Klausner
Harper, Feb 23 2010, $10.00
Eric Bear has come a long way from when he used drugs, gambled and was a runner for mob chieftain Nicholas Dove. Now Eric is married to a wonderful woman Emma Rabbit though he still hears rumors about his cronies from the old days.
Dove hears some of the same rumors including one that he is on the portentous Death List of those who will soon vanish. He visits his former employer to offer a deal. If Eric gets his name removed from the ominous Death List, his stuffed thugs will not rip apart Emma. Erick knows he cannot perform this quest alone; so he enlists his former gang teammates Tom-Tom Crow, Sam Gazelle and Snake Marek, who like him are reformed former felons. The quest to find the top secret foreboding Death List and its even more clandestine author begins.
Amberville is an enjoyable parable that uses stuffed animals to tell a combination mob gang good and evil fable. The story line is at its fast-paced most exhilarating during the gang sequences. The plot slows down at times when the tale turns into a dissertation on the nature of evil; though ironically that segues is the more fascinating subplot. Readers who prefer something wildly different will want to peruse Tim Davys' intriguing allegory. Harriet Klausner