The Prodigy: A Novel of Suspense

Alton L. Gansky, Author
Alton L. Gansky, Author Zondervan Publishing Company $12.99 (340p) ISBN 978-0-310-23556-9
Reviewed on: 04/04/2001
Release date: 04/01/2001
Hardcover - 525 pages - 978-0-7862-5541-2
Paperback - 525 pages - 978-1-4104-0145-8
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Demons, greed, and theological questions about wondrous healings and miracles intermingle in this chilling tale of suspense. Gansky, a clergyman who most recently wrote Distant Memory, combines a flair for atmosphere with supernatural events that will raise a few goose bumps for fanciers of Christian mystery and suspense. In a lonely cabin in the hills of North Carolina, an unwed teenage mother gives birth to a son, Toby. The tension builds as he evinces an unusual intelligence that belies his heredity and environment. Strange things occur when he is six years old, Toby walks down a hospital corridor, and patients are suddenly healed; he speaks to a tornado, which dissipates; he diagnoses physical and mental ailments with just a glance. It's not long before a popular radio talk-show host seizes on Toby as a potential gold mine, and things spin out of control as the boy is cast as a Messiah figure. Despite the intriguing story line, there are some glitches and occasional clich s. Toby's mother is transformed from hillbilly to polished sophisticate in only a year and a half, which is a bit of a stretch, although Gansky is careful to note that she still shows traces of her previous life. The novel disintegrates slightly in its second half, ending with a predictable showdown between the villains and the good guys. Despite these flaws, however, Gansky's credible thriller should gain him some new fans. (May)
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