Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nowhere-Land-A.W. Hill

Nowhere-Land
A.W. Hill
Counterpoint, Jun 1 2009, $25.00
ISBN 9781582434988

Just outside Los Angeles, three suits abduct twenty year old Katy Endicott, a member of a Jehovah Witness’ Church. Her father Church Elder Silas hires private investigator Stephan Raszer to rescue his daughter.

A cult expert and shaman, Raszer finds evidence the seemingly pious and pure young woman has become a sex slave to a group with Middle East connections that recruits over the Internet via a role playing game. Using modern technology and his extrasensory perception skills Raszer tracks Katy from California to New Mexico to a point where Turkey, Iran and Iraq connect. There awaits him on the mortal plane an impregnable ancient fortress run by someone the locals fear as the “Old Man”; who also awaits him on the spirit plane.

Although the religious dogma detracts from the Raszer investigation that turns into a rescue mission built on a prayer, NOWHERE LAND is a tense odd thriller due to the New Age elements. Stephen is a fabulous hero as he follows clues that lead to a tri-focus where occult power is strong; perhaps greater than his shaman knowledge can deal with, but a young woman is in trouble. The blending of role playing over the Internet to an occult sex slave market adds an interesting twist that anchors the tale somewhat in the mortal plane. Fans of role playing games, who burrow so deep they ignore plausibility, will enjoy the aptly titled NOWHERE LAND as Raszer excitingly confronts the Old Man.

Harriet Klausner