Only eleven shopping days till Christmas. And less than a week to save the world.
Three nuns—in Chicago, Paris, and Jerusalem—have been killed in a religious ritual. The choice of victims and the macabre details of their deaths indicate that someone is following a recipe provided on an ancient text—a recipe to unleash the forces of hell on earth. The final sacrifice must occur on the Winter Solstice.
Samuel Roberts, a small-town attorney in Urbana, Illinois, knows a bit about the supernatural, having triumphed at least once over the forces of evil. Thanks to a friend who is aware of Sam’s little known previous efforts on behalf of mankind, Sam is hired by a big Chicago law firm to take on a sensitive case. His mission? Nothing less than halting the impending apocalypse.
Sam and his good buddy Bob travel first to Jerusalem then Paris in a desperate race to save mankind. Ruler of Demons is the sequel to Cocaine Zombies, which won a Bronze medal in the 2012 IPPY Awards.
Review: Ruler of Demons is a little hard to peg into one category. It’s part thrill-ride, part mystery, part buddy comedy and even a bit noir. While there are many references to the first book in the series, Cocaine Zombies, I wasn’t lost by not having read it. In fact, there was just enough past information to make me curious and want to go back and catch up.
The author’s descriptive text was outstanding. I loved when Sam was in Jerusalem or Paris, and even in Mr. Smart’s office or a taxi cab going to the hotel. Detail can often be overdone but Lerner seemed to find that just-right spot between too sparse and TMI (too much information). I was particularly intrigued by the bee chair – a chair upholstered in blue fabric that was embroidered with bees. (Looking this up, I found that the fabric is Napoleonic Bee fabric, the bee being the symbol of Napoleon, and is absolutely gorgeous. Silks and velvets abound in a variety of a colors with little golden bees woven into the fabric. I want something upholstered with this fabric.)
The characters all seemed more or less like someone you would meet in everyday life (except for that one…). Sam is sensible (as I suppose any respectable lawyer should be) but has a good sense of sarcasm to carry him through, especially when times get tough. Bob had a great sense of humor and self-awareness, and Susan was just downright practical. I mean, her boyfriend finds a severed tongue so she brings donuts for the police. I hope to see a lot more of her in the next book.
The only thing that nagged at me was the dialogue. I really don’t understand authors that use proper English in contemporary speech. For me, reading “he is” or “I have” is just not natural. It stops the story dead in its tracks when I have to think about what the character is saying. It’s even worse when writing styles are mixed – “Why don’t you come in and I will show it to you?”
But the story is intriguing and hooked me from the moment Kari O’Neill showed up in her 1970’s pantsuit.