Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Cat, The Devil, The Last Escape-Shirley Rousseau Murphy and Pat J.J. Murphy

The Cat, The Devil, The Last Escape
Shirley Rousseau Murphy and Pat J.J. Murphy
Morrow, Feb 10 2015, $24.99
ISBN: 9780062269102

Though he blames that darn ghost cat Mistro for his failure to snatch the soul of a descendent of “escapee” Russell Dobbs whom he lost a wager to decades ago; frustrated Satan remains diligent in tempting non-dangerous sexagenarian convict Lee Fontana.  On the opposite coast, Mistro also tries to guard (from the devil) his former human pet preadolescent Sammie Blake whose dreams are omens of what to come.

Satan’s henchman Brad Falon commits a lethal robbery, but insures the evidence leads to the arrest of Sammie’s father Morgan to get him out of the way when he takes the man’s wife Becky.  With Mistro guiding them, Lee and Brad meet inside Atlanta Federal Penitentiary.  Experienced with life inside prison, Lee mentors Brad on survival.  Soon the pair plots a scheme after a breakout that requires conning the devil, protecting the newbie’s two beloved women and finding proof that frees Blake and convicts Falon.

The second soul wars conflict between The Cat and The Devil (see The Cat, the Devil, and Lee Fontana; and Mistro’s debut in the Joel Grey saga Cat Bearing Gifts) is a wonderful supernatural thriller due to a fully-developed cast.  This time the audience understands why Mistro believes enigmatic Fontana is worth saving.  Readers will figure out early on the connection between the cat, the child and the convict; but relish the convergence of the past, present and future when the cat, the convict and “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” (The Charlie Daniels Band).

Harriet Klausner

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