Godwin, Richard - 'Apostle Rising'
An awesome tale: so well written that it transports you to another world, and so full of twists and turns, you feel as if you are on a roller coaster - to hell. APOSTLE RISING is Godwin's first crime novel and I truly hope that it isn't his last. It leaves you drained and empty and with that fragile feeling that you have after recovering from bad news. Just superb.
Someone is cutting up and killing prostitutes. Someone else is mutilating and crucifying politicians. The murders are coming in thick and fast and the police seem powerless to stop things. These particular psychopaths are on a mission and proving very hard to trace. Enter Detective Chief Inspector Frank Castle and his partner DI Jacki Stone. Both are committed to their job but the pressure of the cases starts to get to both of them. Several of the killings are very similar to an old, unsolved, case of Frank's from years ago and it is possible that the same person is involved. Just like before, Frank starts to lose his grip on sanity as the case takes hold and he seeks solace in the whisky bottle. Stone is similarly drawn in and her marriage crumbles around her as she spends longer and longer in the office.
Meanwhile, Karl Black, the man that Castle believed to be at the centre of the previous killings, is setting up his new Christian cult and training new recruits to do his bidding in the war against today's Godless society. Black seems to be involved in the current killing spree somehow, but once more he evades the police and it looks as if he might get away with it again.
The twists and turns of this most excellent novel take you on a really rough ride and some of the mutilation scenes make for rather gruesome reading. If you love your crime fiction blacker than average then this one is most definitely for you. Watch out for the ending, though; just when you think things can't get any worse for Castle, they do.
Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland
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