The Fraternity of the Soul Eater by Scott A. Lerner
Series: Samuel Roberts Thriller (# 3)
Release Date: June 15, 2015
Publisher: Camel Press
Source: book provided by Tribute Books for review
It’s been a while since Samuel Roberts was called upon to save mankind, and he’s getting restless. His girlfriend Susan thinks he’s a danger junkie, and he’s worried he has a hero complex. He’s back to his usual small-town lawyerly duties in Champaign-Urbana, handling divorces and helping people beat DUI raps. But then a young fraternity pledge calls. During an initiation ceremony he witnessed the live sacrifice of a young woman, but he had so much alcohol in his system that no one believes him. Except Sam. Lately Egyptian lore has been creeping into his life, his dreams, and his movie preferences, and he’s pretty sure he knows why. Evil is knocking on his door again.
Is the call welcome? Why can’t Sam be satisfied with his comfortable legal practice and gorgeous redheaded girlfriend? Maybe it’s because he knows that, as inadequate as he may feel to the task, he and his friend Bob may be humanity’s only hope against ancient supernatural forces combined with modern genetic engineering. Come hell or high water. Or in this case, the underworld or subterranean pyramids.
Review: Another fun round with Sam and Bob as they infiltrate a fraternity hell-bent on bringing the Egyptian afterlife back to Earth to rule the world. Oddly enough, in the middle of reading this book I saw a Washington Post article claiming Illinois University at Champaign-Urbana (the school in the center of this story) as the top party school in the U.S. Maybe the Egyptian dead know what they’re doing.
In this book, Sam finds himself capable of things he never thought he would (or could) do, all in the name of love – and prevention of world domination by an Egyptian deity. I’m not sure how I view that in his character. Sam is a peaceable yet slightly snarky attorney and always questions the wisdom behind it when Bob brings out a gun. I think this would be true of a lot of men, raging testosterone aside, so I question his use of what seems to me to be blind violence. It was almost as if he had no qualms and didn’t second-guess himself.
Bob, however, always has a way of making light of whatever happens. Whether he shoots a cobra or sees a desiccated corpse, he finds humor in it. I like Bob. He reminds me of Shaggy from Scooby-Doo, right down to the van with purple shag carpet and the hash brownies.
Once again, though, Susan was a minor character. I really liked her in the last book – she had what I would call moxie. Plus she’s a redhead. Based on the ending of Soul Eater, I’m hoping she has a more significant part in the next chapter but I’m beginning to wonder if this is just a buddy series and Susan is destined to have only a behind-the-scenes role. That would be sad because I could definitely see her character expanding and the series going from bromance to Three Musketeers.
Author and attorney Scott A. Lerner resides in Champaign, Illinois. He obtained his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and went on to obtain his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. He is currently a sole practitioner in Champaign, Illinois. The majority of his law practice focuses on the fields of criminal law and family law. Lerner’s first novel and the first Samuel Roberts Thriller, Cocaine Zombies, won a bronze medal in the mystery/cozy/noir category of the 2013 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Awards. The second book in the series is Ruler of Demons. The Fraternity of the Soul Eater is book 3. Book 4, The Wiccan Witch of the Midwest, will be released on Halloween, 2015.