The Beast with Seven Heads
Date Published: November 30, 2011
Number of Pages: 304
Print Price: $13.95
eBook Price: $8.99
The Beast with Seven Heads: An Improbable Sleuth Mystery is a novel that draws the reader into the world of Catholic views about the actual presence of demons and evil in the most improbable lives of ordinary people.
Professor Bill Gavin, a teacher at Monongahela College, becomes involved in a mysterious murder, first as a possible suspect and then as an unusual investigator into the murder and a satanic cult of professors, their families and students caught in the horrors of satanic worship.
Helping Detective Peters understand and accept the realities of evil, he explains the facts of the case when it comes to demonic possession and the warfare of spirits of good and evil in the world. Through their collaboration, a mutual bond of trust and respect forms that transforms both men into warriors for good.
The novel is written with an openness to the Catholic faith, especially in regard to the evil in the world and the ability of evil to infect and influence ordinary people into extreme and evil actions.
Through Professor Gavin’s life, Hanley offers the awareness of faith and the strength received through his faith. Professor Gavin has the same concerns and worries that any Catholic family man has on a daily basis in this world. The care, feeding shelter and safety of his loved ones are constantly on his mind as well as their peace of mind. To the normal concerns, Hanley adds the attack of those who have given in to the satanic influence. It is Professor Gavin’s faith that sustains him.
The family prays the rosary together, prays for each other, and for strength to stand in the face of evil.
The other characters develop into real people, with all the weakness of the human spirit as well as the strength of faith and friendship. Sal, a colleague of Professor Gavin, finds strength in their shared respect and faith to battle the evil that threatens to destroy them and those they love.
The only negative in this novel is the mix of vocabulary. For the most part the vocabulary used is graphic but easy to understand, providing a clear picture of the characters and the on-going action. At times, the language used is a little harder to understand and doesn’t fit with the language generally used throughout the novel.
The following scene provides an example of this flaw: “And behind the wheel of the big dark sedan was the idiotic grimace of Travis Sweet flanked by the choleric glower of Cali Tynan – forming a diptych of witless malignity.” It is easy to visualize the grimace and the glower but the remainder of the sentence creates discord in the flow of the story.
Hanley provides an excellent closing, offering a ‘rest of the story’ to finish the lives of the characters. We learn what effect the events of the main story have had on everyone and how each character handles the resulting changes, some with a strong faith, some with humility, and others defiant to the end.
Sign-up for Catholic, Ink., a free weekly e-newsletter, and be a part of the Catholic Literary Revival. Receive the weekly column The Catholic Imagination and You and much more!
Original Language: English
Book Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
Subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter Catholic, Ink. - click here - receive book reviews and the column "The Catholic Imagination and You"
Be part of the Catholic Literary Revival.