Date: June 2003
it at Amazon
Meredith is the author of
Deeds of Darkness and the Tempe Crabtree Mystery
Series. Marilyn Meredith's Guilt by Association won
the Treble Heart Book Awards for Best Mystery/Suspense.
Reviewer Kristin Johnson is
the author of Christmas Cookies Are For Giving, co-written
with Mimi Cummins. Her third book, Ordinary Miracles: My
Incredible Spiritual, Artistic and Scientific Journey,
co-written with Sir Rupert A.L. Perrin, M.D., will be published
by PublishAmerica in 2004.
the matter with kids today? Satanist heavy-metal music---and here
we thought Britney Spears, P. Diddy and Snoop Dogg were the problem.
Deputy Jessica McGuire chooses a small town as a new start for herself
and her son. The problem is, in storytelling, whenever someone chooses
a small town to get away from the city, the small town proves to
have its own challenges. In this case, Deputy McGuire deals with
a teenage son going through a phase of listening to heavy metal
and drawing portraits of skulls with rats crawling from their eyes,
when she's not trying to convince the Dukes of Hazzard male law
enforcement colleagues that a missing goat, a cow drained of its
blood, a stolen redwood cross, and a desecrated infant grave with
a missing baby skeleton add up to "Something wicked this way
Pastor David Tanner, also widowed, comes along to awaken Jessica's
heart and aid her in her investigation as they uncover a Satanic
cult in the sleepy town of Lawrenceville. A local college professor
with a Miltonian/Branch Davidian complex leads the cult. "
You'd think that people would have learned, since killing animals
is how Son of Sam started. Deputy McGuire isn't a regular churchgoer
or Bible reader, but she has a powerful sense of right and wrong
to challenge the wicked goings-on.
tale of good and evil takes on the good old boys' small town network,
single motherhood, the eternal struggle to raise children with good
values, and our tendency to become immune to damaging messages (if
anyone doesn't think popular culture has degenerated, watch the
new show "Banzai" on the Fox network.)
Gore and the PRC made looking for satanic lyrics a joke, and one
could argue that the violent, sexually explicit, misogynistic lyrics
of rap and hip-hop songs are more toxic. However, Pastor David Tanner
makes an eloquent point that without challenging the dangerous messages
(such as those of our instant-gratification culture), you unconsciously
accept them and make them part of your soul. But a determined single
mom with a shotgun works wonders.