by Peter Laws (@revpeterlaws)
Published by Allison & Busby
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)
“I thought it was a trick of the Devil. An illusion…”
Demon’s eh? Always causing bother with their horrible head-spinning, blaspheming and swearing coupled with green vomiting hijinks – not really the sort you want possessing you or anyone you know… So, when the UK is hit with an upturn in demonic possession (not actually linked to Brexit) some religious types go mental trying to do DIY casting out these evil demonic entities. But what if the poor folk claiming to be possessed are actually just experiencing mental health issues and are much in need of medical assistance than holy hands?
And where there are confused and mentally unstable individuals, there are often US Pastors looking to cash in – which is very much the case in this brilliantly messed up murder-em-up. Fortunately Possessed sees the return of stoic Professor Matt Hunter (sceptic hero of Peter Laws’ three previous dark crime thrillers) a maverick former minister who lost his faith and helps police investigate religious tinged crimes.
Hunter is called in when a blood-soaked naked man is discovered with the name Baal-Berith carved into his flesh – is this guy an innocent possessed by an ancient evil? Or has he maybe been confused by the ramblings of a deluded local pastor craving more than his local church existence? Whatever the truth it certainly seems like the spirit of blasphemy and murder is out and about as the body-count rises and the media get involved leading to a climactic first live TV ‘mass exorcism’.
I’ve been a fan of the Matt Hunter novels so far but Possessed is absolutely the best yet. Laws has really found his literary groove, his prose flows easily and the plot cracks along with a hard-to-resist page turning pull. It’s not overkill to call this God Tier / next level - 5 star dark crime fiction that will please horror, crime and even religiously open-minded folk (there must be some)…
'Graphic novel version?'
Possessed keeps the tension high and the core ‘is it all in their minds – or might it be real?’ question front and centre. Those who have journeyed with Hunter so far have a real treat on their hands as they will understand the rabbit references and more. Whilst those jumping in at this 4th entry should be able to enjoy it almost as much without the back-reference knowledge.
Refreshing, bold and unforgettable – Possessed is superb, highly recommended reading for those willing to face the darkness!
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(5 - The power of Christ compels you to read this)...
BUY YOURSELF A COPY HERE
Read the Darkmatters review of Purged (Matt Hunter book 1)
Read the Darkmatters review of Unleashed (Matt Hunter book 2)
Read the Darkmatters review of Severed (Matt Hunter book 3)
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