Brother Sebastian is halfway up a mountain in Vermont, hell-bent on interrogating an old woman in a shack, when he gets the order to abandon his quest for personal vengeance. He has to find a missing Inquisitor, or, more likely, his remains. He’s reluctant, to say the least. Not only will he have to stop chasing the best potential lead he’s had in years, this job—his first solo mission—will mean setting foot in the grubby black hole of Providence, Rhode Island. And, somehow, it only gets worse… If he’d known he would end up ass deep in witches, werewolves, and ogres, and that this mission would jeopardize not only his sanity but also his immortal soul, he never would’ve answered the damn phone.
Lincoln Farish’s Junior Inquisitor has me mulling over monks in fiction. I’m thinking about the monk mystique–the spectrum of monk representation in movies and media.
At one end are the godlike Shoalin Chinese monks.
At the other end are the fat and jovial Friar Tucks and DreamWorks Pandas.
Farish’s Brother Sebastian has a dark, haunting past—plus some mad combat skills. He’s Jason Bourne with a rosary. He’s James Bond in a cowl…no, not the Roger Moore Bond.
Junior Inquisitor is action-packed, for sure, but it also has the flavor of old school horror. Damien. The Exorcist. Church-ified fire-and-brimstone stuff. This is an environs I know and love, the kind that evokes images of knights, templars, and secret societies. This is the crazy albino monk, Silas, from The Da Vinci Code (no, not the wheelbarrow albino monk with the cold sores from The Princess Bride). This is William from The Name of the Rose. Yes, Sean Connery in the movie version.
Brother Sebastian is on a mission, pardon the expression, to avenge his wife’s death. Classic, meaty protagonist angst, but with a new twist—his wife’s killer is a witch. Almost immediately, the first obstacle comes rolling down the mountain of his struggles. Then more obstacles arrive, one after another, and pummel the ever-loving heck out of the good Brother.
Will he prevail?
Action. Inner turmoil. Clean, noir-style writing. An excellent paranormal-horror-thriller.
Well done, Mr. Farish.