A PRAYER FOR DELIVERANCE: An Angela Bivens Thriller

Christopher Chambers, Author . Crown $23 (352p) ISBN 978-0-609-60850-0

Angela Bivens, the young African-American FBI agent who debuted in Chambers's Sympathy for the Devil (2001), plunges into a messy melange of terrorism, ritual murder, political intrigue, sex and revenge. Unfortunately, the recipe makes less for a savory dish than for an unappetizing alphabet stew of agencies, departments, titles and fiefdoms on the one hand, and a hodgepodge of South African and Zulu history, folklore, "magick" and witchcraft on the other. The supporting cast is pure soap opera, while even our heroine seems a disturbingly unstable blend of personality traits. In sum, this is a book that might easily be made into a modern blaxploitation flick, but is also one unlikely to attract a wide readership. (Mar. 4)