Friday, January 23, 2009

Black Cathedral

When I reviewed Maynard and Sims’ previous novel (not yet ported over to this site), I mentioned it reminded me a bit of the popular series of novels by Preston Child. In Black Cathedral, their third novel, the resemblance is even more closely drawn. Maynard and Sims are apparently beginning a series of stories about Department 18, a shadowy part of the English government dedicated to investigating paranormal events.

A group of executives are dropped off on a remote Scottish island for a series of wilderness-based team-building exercises. The island itself apparently turns against them, and the entire group, along with the staff at the manor house and a helicopter pilot, disappear. Department 18 sends in a team led by Jane Talbot and her former lover, Robert Carter, one of the most gifted psychics in Department 18’s employ. Carter is just beginning to recover from his previous mission, in which his young partner disappeared.

The team finds a centuries-old horror on the island, and find themselves embroiled in a plot hatched by an apparently undying mystic. Their investigation turns into a struggle to stop the evil plan – and to survive.

Although I felt the ending was a bit abrupt, with a little deus ex machina, this was a very enjoyable book. If you’ve ever wanted to see what a British version of the X-Files would be like, I’d advise you to give it a go.

Trivia: One of the things I learned from this book (unless it’s an in-joke I didn’t get) is that the British really love cardamom in their coffee.

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