Monday, July 16, 2007

The Electric Church-Jeff Sommers

The Electric Church
Jeff Somers
Orbit, Sep 2007, $12.99
ISBN: 9780316021722

Avery Cates is a professional hit man, but his latest kill in old Harlem angers him as his client’s agent failed to provide key needed information. First the victim was probably a Systems Security Force (SSF) cop; second there was a child in the apartment. Avery knows the SSF elite Stormers and throwaway Crushers hunt for him for what he assumes is killing one of them, undercover Colonel Janet Hense. He also knows if they catch him the Stormers will set it up so that they can legally kill him in one of the illegal Old Manhattan dives or on the street fleeing.

Instead, the authorities want Avery to kill Dennis Squalor, the founder of the fastest growing religion the Electric Church. The government leaders know Squalor is a threat to their primogenitary power. He espouses the belief that an individual’s life is too short to understand the universe as it takes eternity to do so. The faithful convert to invincible cyborgs with their brain inside; these Monks kill objectors. To get to Squalor he must get past protected by concentric circles of Monks, Avery needs a miracle; hell whatever he does he needs a miracle because he is caught between the Stormers and Crushers on one side, and the Monks on the other.

THE ELECTRIC CHURCH is an invigorating futuristic urban noir science fiction that grips the audience from the first fight in the East Side dive and never slows down as the antihero with ethics runs a gauntlet with the stake being his life. If he fails the authorities, they will kill him; if he goes after Squalor, they will convert him, which means they will kill him; if by some miracle he succeeds and kills Squalor, the authorities will kill him. Any way he sees it he sees his imminent death. Fans will want to walk on the wild side of Old New York as tour guide Jeff Somers provides a powerful thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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