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God is a Bullet    by Boston Teran order for
God is a Bullet
by Boston Teran
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2002 (1999)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This dark debut thriller takes us into the murky depths of a murderous cult, who see the rest of society as sheep on which to prey. Most of their victims come from the fringes, where people can disappear unnoticed. But then they target a middle-class family, viciously kill the husband and wife, and kidnap the teenage daughter.

The story's heroine is Case, ex-junkie and ex-cult member, trying to rebuild her life but bedeviled by nightmares. When she reads about the killings, she knows who was responsible and also knows first-hand what young Gabi is going through. Case contacts the authorities, offering to help.

Bob Hightower, Gabi's father, is a police officer relegated to desk work. He disobeys his boss's orders, meets with Case, and journeys with her down a dark, brutal tunnel of discovery to reclaim his child from the underworld. Along the way, they find that it's not as simple as a cult running amok, but that its leader Cyrus has surprising financial connections.

Initially despising Case, Bob gradually learns that she is the only one he can trust in a world whose betrayals reach too close to home. God is a Bullet is not for the queasy. It's a tough read in one of the darker shades of noir. It will grab you by the throat and not let go.

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