God's Assassins God's Assassins
The Dead Have No Fear of Dying

Mark Paradise
ISBN 9781413741070 (141374107X)
Publish Britannica, 2005

Category: Fiction
Subcategory: Thriller
Reviewed by: Phil Groom

The Knights Templar, the Holy Grail, a sword with no name, an eight hundred year old prophecy, hosts of demons, the archangel Gabriel. Did I forget to mention bent cops, a paedophile priest, Hell's Angels, hand grenades, the Freemasons and Lucifer playing pool? Not sure whether or not to tell you about the little old lady from Wales who believes in the power of prayer or the policewoman who falls in love with a monk.

But I do need to warn you about blood, cold-blooded murder, brutality and extreme violence: plenty of it. As it says on the cover, this is not for the faint hearted. It is for anyone who appreciates a fast-moving and brilliantly told story where faith isn't for wimps, where the call to follow Christ is the call to face death head on and unafraid. But not unarmed: there's no turning the other cheek here. The Knights Templar are monks with attitude — focused against evil and prepared to go to any lengths to prevent it, even if it means they themselves are completely misunderstood. There's no political correctness or theological subtlety involved: evil needs eradicating, evil gets eradicated.

It's not a complete gore-fest. We're not talking Quentin Tarantino here, but we are talking Mel Gibson and Passion of the Christ: violence with a purpose, with a profound spirituality behind it. The story starts with a nightmare: John Mills, former Foreign Legion mercenary on the edge of a drunken bender. He's a man who's lost his way and is on his way out — until a voice calls him back in. It's a call to repentance, but can a man who's committed the kinds of war crimes Mills is guilty of truly repent? Can he enter the circle of pain and emerge purified? Can another man's blood atone for his sins?

There's hope here for humanity: even the worst can be called back from the brink. But there's also stark warning: step over that brink and the damnation you'll face is worse, far worse, than anything you might have imagined. Satan is a slippery opponent but he's even worse as an ally: his plans for the destruction of humanity are no game but he'll play you like a pawn, make you think you're a king or queen, then trash you like the piece of filth he thinks you are.

As for those called back from the brink, called to be God's Assassins in the battle against evil: they're armed and dangerous, dead to sin, alive in Christ and unafraid to die. Don't stand in their way.

You want adventure and a Grail quest? Forget Dan Brown and The Da Vinci Code: discover Paradise. Because the alternative is Hell.

Phil Groom, July 2005

Phil Groom is this site's Webmaster and Reviews Editor. He's a freelance blogger, writer and web developer who spent ten years managing the bookshop at London School of Theology alongside eight years writing web reviews for Christian Marketplace magazine before he came to his senses and went independent. You can find him on facebook or follow him on twitter @notbovvered.


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