Child Finder: Resurrection, award-winning author Mike Angley's second novel, is rich with sensory images and Catholic philosophy. Mixing those two very literary techniques with a bang-bang shoot-em-up tale might seem risky to some--and it is. However, Angley has created a super-hero who transcends comic-bookery while maintaining the genre's idealistic view of good overcoming evil. He created this approach in his first book, Child Finder, but the reader will find a maturation of style and new complexity in plotting in Resurrection. In this story, not only does Major Pat O'Donnell, the psychic protagonist, talk to God and the Saints and Angels, but God and the Saints and Angels communicate back to him. It's a nice touch.
It is a year and a half since the tragedy that sent Pat's secret government unit into early retirement. It's time to resurrect the department with new rules and new goals. Shortly after his return to the task of finding lost children, O'Donnell battles his evil doppelganger--a nameless psychopath who's psychic talents rival his own. It's a private war between two mental giants that leaves a trail of collaterally damaged victims including O'Donnell's friend and colleague Woody Davis. As the story evolves, Angley allows his cast to grow. Pat's young son Sean, who shares his father's gift, steps into the fray with important information at crucial moments. General Swank's cranky persona turns human when his grandson is kidnapped by the villain. Dr. Jasper Jacobsen is a young psychologist fresh from Berkley. His idealism, while different, matches Pat's in intensity. In Jake, Angley creates a character that Pat dislikes but the reader loves. Finally, Pat himself evolves as he recognizes the value of alternative paths.
There's a hint of Hitchcockian suspense -- the reader knows more than the characters. The bad guy is really bad. What Pat can sense and what he can't is a mystery, leaving the audience to scream out warnings about what's behind that closed bathroom door. The mood is ominous and the threat isn't only to Pat himself, but to his family and friends. If it's so easy for Pat and the killer to see into the minds of others, shouldn't we all be erecting brick walls around our own thoughts? Racing through corners and falling through space on the other side of a rickety climb, the novel is a tooth-grinding rollercoaster ride.
Like Child Finder, Resurrection is a general audience thriller which will also appeal to religious audiences and young adults. Fun and thought-provoking, the book can be read as a spiritual allegory or as a fast-paced action piece. Keep your bible and your valium nearby!
Reviewed by: Joyce Faulkner (2010)
Child Finder Resurrection is the highly-anticipated sequel to Child Finder, which Library Journal placed on its 2009 Summer Reads list, calling it a "compelling debut novel" and "a real find" and recommending it to readers of both mystery/thrillers and Christian fiction.
Child Finder also garnered the prestigious Silver Medal Award in the Fiction category of the Military Writers Society of America's 2009 Annual Awards Program!
It has been a year and a half since Air Force Special Agent Patrick O'Donnell, a psychic-savant, left the federal TOP SECRET child rescue program after it went horribly off-track, resulting in murder and endangering his own family. And just when he thinks he's comfortably put this painful past behind him, he receives a call from his mentor. The murky, shadowy TOP SECRET community where he once was center-stage has been revised, revamped, resurrected!
The government needs his psychic skills more than ever. A sick, twisted, menacing child killer is on the loose, and no one but Pat can stop him. However, Agent O'Donnell soon discovers this new nemesis is more than he bargained for. Nothing can prepare him for the psychotic genius he must fight...and the life and death cat-and-mouse game that entraps him! Once again, Pat must call upon his faith and strong spiritual connection with God to sustain and guide him, especially during his darkest hours as he battles...pure evil.