cover image THE HOLY


Daniel Quinn, . . Context, $24 (288pp) ISBN 978-1-893956-30-8

A detective goes demon hunting in this supernatural mystery from the bestselling author of Ishmael. Chicago sexagenarian private eye Howard Sheim is hired by millionaire Aaron Fischer to probe the existence of Baal, Ashtoroth and Moloch, "false gods" named in the Old Testament book of Exodus. The search leads him to a self-styled mystic who, after reading his future with tarot cards, refers Howard to a teenage seer, Richard Holloway. The boy tells him that there are those living among us—he calls them "yoo-hoos"—who are not really human, though he has no idea exactly what they are. After consulting a rabbi and a warlock, the skeptical Howard is about ready to throw in the towel and go back to his missing-person cases. The narrative switches to follow the quixotic odyssey of 42-year-old Midwesterner David Kennesey, who suddenly abandons his wife and 12-year-old son and heads west without a thought to his destination. Separately, his wife and son embark on their own quests to find him. After adventures in Chicago and Vegas, David stumbles into a mountain Shangri-La inhabited by a woman named Andrea and her coterie of oddball denizens. Back in Chicago, Howard—now with David's son—tracks David to Andrea's, where he finds out that the gods are alive and up to their old tricks. Quinn's playful metaphysical sleuthing and cast of chimerical figures are entertaining, but fans of Ishmael and After Dachau may feel that this book doesn't have quite the originality or moral weight of his earlier efforts. (Oct.)