cover image Cain


Brennan S. McPherson. BroadStreet, $15.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-4245-5232-0

The original story of murder in Abrahamic scripture is well-known—Cain’s jealousy toward his brother Abel leads to God’s rejection of Cain’s offering, and in a fit of rage, Cain murders Abel. McPherson’s debut focuses on the immediate aftermath of this watershed event. The first death and murder confuses and panics a family with no experience of such barbarity. When darkness descends on their world, the brothers’ parents fear the almighty one has died with Abel. Cain begins his wandering penance, followed at each step by a demonic figure trying to enter and control his mind. Although Cain wants to be rid of the demon, his willpower once again proves wanting in the face of temptation. Even after Cain’s departure, his sin carries waves of repercussions. More deaths haunt the family during war with the Jinn—demonic half-breeds they feared for over a century. To overcome such desolate times, the family must have faith that the almighty one is not dead, but has a plan for those who follow a righteous path. McPherson shows a talent for plotting while also opening up the narrative to consider deeper theological issues surrounding murder. The many gory elements may be disturbing for some readers. (May)