Reviewed by Randall Radic
The title of this new religious thriller sums it up: a prophecy of power, potential and talent reside in the author, Andrew Parker. All the elements of a rock ‘em sock ‘em bestseller are in his novel, Prophecy of Power.
There’s a skeptical rabbi, who wonders if Judaism is indeed the one, true religion. The rabbi, whose name is Jacob Droutman, begins comparing one religion with another, as he searches for the truth. The quest leads him to a seminar on the Book of Revelation. The seminar’s speaker – Dr. Renton – is a slick purveyor of the most irresistible type of religious snake oil – prophecy.
There’s a mysterious femme fatale, too. She hands Jacob Droutman an envelope containing information about three missing students, who may or may not be dead. Soon afterward, Droutman’s landlord is found murdered. As the police homicide unit investigates, two CIA agents show up, informing the police that they are taking over the case “for reasons of national security.” Suspicious of everything and everybody, the police decide to continue an unauthorized investigation.
The story is now cooking with gas!
Rabbi Droutman, pulled in ever deeper, finally goes to Israel to try and find the three missing students. If he can find them, maybe he can discover their ‘secret.’ A secret so potent, world governments are willing to kill for it.
Now we are talking! Prophecy of Power has every ingredient necessary for a thrill-a-minute ride. Almost.
Parker writes well. For example, his description of Lansky Lounge, a local bar where the good rabbi indulges in a daily health regimen is a doozy: “Lansky Lounge was the Jewish gangster Meyer Lansky’s old boardroom and they kept his hideout dark and dangerous.” And Parker’s ear for conversational sound-bytes is finely tuned. There’s nothing phony or affected in the speech patterns of the characters. In other words, the dialogue isn’t forced. Rather it’s smooth and natural.
There are, however, a couple of glitches in the story. For one, the story unfolds too fast. It’s like taking a hit of crank and then watching Jason Statham – who is also high on crank – as he tries to keep his heart rate up in the action flick of the same name, Crank. The overall effect is one of supreme twitchiness. One scene jumps into another scene before the first scene is over. Which means the reader is left breathless and wishing he was allowed to inhale before he was forced to exhale.
For two, the story and the characters – which are definitely intriguing – lack development. Which is directly connected to the first glitch of too much velocity. Most readers want to watch the characters and the story evolve. In Prophecy of Power, they explode. Which means readers can’t enjoy the nuances and flaws of the people populating the story. Nor can they relish the interactions that result because of all those human flaws.
All in all, Prophecy of Power is a good book. It has a zippy plot with lots of electrifying hanky-panky. Who doesn’t like tales revolving around the Book of Revelation? The Apostle John’s apocalypse has it all: demons, angels, Second Advent, Rapture, Armageddon, Gog and Magog – and oodles of prophecy. Combine all that with the writing talent of Andrew Parker and, well, it could be one hell of a story.
But it’s gotta be developed just a little bit more. If that had taken place, then a good story would have become a kick-ass thriller.