by William Peter Blatty
Read by the author
Produced by Macmillan audio
approx 8 hours
The author of “The Exorcist” has a new book out, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s a horror novel. While this book does dwell into some mysticism, it is pretty much a spy thriller. When I first received the audio book I noticed it was read by the author. In audio books this can be a hit or miss situation. In this case I think the jury is still out. The hit is that the author knows what he wrote and what he intended and can impress upon the listener the ideas that are most important in the story. The miss is that while William Peter Blatty has a very interesting voice, at times it is very monotonous and lulls the listener. Also Blatty is not a voice actor and does not distinguish the separate voices within character dialogue. I became very confused as to who was saying what and many times in this book I was lost.
Some of that being lost may also be attributed to the twists and turns Blatty wrote into this tale. In fact, not until the very end is it all explained, and even then there’s a bit of mystery to the ending. The story opens in the 1970s in Albania, when a prisoner suspected of being an enemy agent is capture and subjected to horrendous torture. The prisoner is subjected to severe pain but at no time shows pain in either voice or action, in fact he maintains an eerie silence and at times by a simple glance changes the mood of his torturers. The prisoner escapes and completes the mission.
The prisoner is known as Dimiter the American “agent from Hell.” Dimiter is notorious for taking on the harder missions and completing them with no error.
The story then jumps to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital and a series of unexplained deaths encapsulate the a strange mix of personnel. They are all intertwined in the story as the deaths are unfolded and Dimiter’s final mission is exposed. The confusion in deaths is mainly the identities of who dies, when one person is discovered dead they name on their papers is not the name of the who the person is. Many times it seems as though the body is Dimiter. But not until the final briefing between American CIA and Israeli forces does the body count begin to make sense. But then after it is all figured out, Blatty throws a final curve ball and the story may not be over.
All in all a very interesting book covering the issues of vengeance, soul searching, loss and love.