The Gatherer Review
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Something dark and evil stalks those who do good, gathering their souls before it’s forced back into hibernation. Set free for six months every two years, it takes as many souls as it can get, leaving police officials with a mystery they can’t solve and a theory no one will believe.

Detective Mike Sams has been handed a baffling case. An intruder slips inside victims’ homes without a trace, leaving behind a corpse with its bones crushed and its throat ripped out. Theories range from a wild animal to a set of mechanical jaws used by an occult group. But how they get inside the house without leaving any evidence bothers Detective Sams, and he’s willing to look at the supernatural for answers. Suspicious it might be a demon, he seeks help from the Catholic Church.

In Italy, the Catholic Church unearths a chamber that holds an ancient scroll. Father Frank Daniel enlists the help of Dr. Carey Blake, who specializes in ancient languages. As they painstakingly decipher the scroll, they uncover an indestructible force of evil that puts terror in their hearts and has them scrambling for a way to stop it.

  
 
Romance blossoms between Mike and Carey, but because of the secretive nature of their work, neither is aware that they’re working on the same case. Neither are they aware of how much danger the other is in.

The Gatherer is an interesting mystery/thriller that shows the Catholic Church in a good light for a change—something I applaud, since the Catholic Church tends to get a bum rap in most fiction. Here, with help from outsiders, they are facing the demons in order to save souls from everlasting damnation.

However, Mr. Bayne would have done well to leave out the romance between Mike and Carey. Often, it felt awkward and just plain silly. It was so bad, in fact, that I almost felt embarrassed for the characters when they acted all mushy around each other. Nothing about the romance felt or appeared natural.

But Mr. Bayne’s strength lies in his ability to create demonic beings that chill you to your soul. This part of his novel interested me most—and it has persuaded me to pick up his next novel. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that the romance will be left out this time around.

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