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    Review of THE DEVIL'S TALE by Dan Wick

    iUniverse, February 2006

    Disgusted by man's ability to be cruel to fellow man, Lucifer has decided he's had enough. He's going to destroy the USA. But first, he decides to send a junior devil, Loki, to check things out and to determine if anything could be salvaged. Loki has been sleeping for five hundred years (punishment for not following Lucifer's rules closely enough), but it doesn't take him long to catch on that the world has taken some distressing turns. Technologies that should have made the world better have, instead, made things worse.

    Once on Earth, Loki takes the form of a British secret agent, Roger Thornhill, falls for a beautiful FBI agent, enters into a search for a bizarre serial killer who just might be a transvestite--but who might also be one of the 'co-created' beings, beings well beyond Thornhill's abilities to control or destroy, produces evidence that Jesus really didn't mean any of that stuff that Paul put in his mouth, and recreates neo-Paganism. Meanwhile, he abducts a Super-Christian terrorist, starting a plot to kill the incompetent but war-like President (not George W. Bush).

    Some of Thornhill's plans work out, but the beautiful agent remains distressingly aloof, and Mara, the co-created serial killer, threatens to subvert everything he's working for, bringing about the destruction that Thornhill has attempted to avert.

    THE DEVIL'S TALE is a funny story. Lucifer has spent hundreds of thousands of years trying to create good--only to be undone by human-kind's ability to twist everything into evil. Author Dan Wick breaks up the straighforward Loki/Thornhill chronology by frequent digressions into other characters and points of view--to mostly enjoyable effect.

    I would have liked to see a bit more of the plot worked out. Only at the end does Wick introduce a sense of danger and suspense, relying on wry observations and his twists of the familiar archetypes to carry the early part of the story. THE DEVIL'S TALE isn't perfect, but it certainly is an enjoyable tale.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 9/10/06

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