In a work reminiscent of Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, Andrew Pyper explores Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost through Colombia University professor David Ullman's character. Professor Ullman's life is crumbling. His marriage is falling apart, he is attracted to a colleague, and his daughter is hitting her teenage years. When a strange woman approaches him in his University office with an offer of a free trip to Venice to experience a "phenomenon" he flatly refuses. However, upon arriving home to a declaration from his wife that she is leaving him, he reconsiders. He and his daughter, Tess, fly to Venice for a mini vacation with dire consequences.
While in Venice, the Professor does indeed experience this "phenomenon" and feels the evil emanating from it follow him all the way back to his hotel in Venice. He arrives to find his daughter missing. He searches and finds her, teetering on the edge of the hotel ready to jump in the river. His attempts to save her fail and she is gone. It becomes apparent to him that the only way to save her is to battle the evil that has followed him a la his own version of Paradise Lost.
This book is a fast-paced thriller, scores low on the gore scale and middle on the terror scale. It keeps the reader guessing until the very end about what will happen to David and his family. If you have read Paradise Lost, this story will make a good deal more sense. If you have not, then it will make you want to read it just to understand the allusions that are within the story better.
Recommended for those who enjoy a fast-paced action story, for readers who enjoyed any of Dan Brown's books featuring Professor Robert Langdon, readers who enjoy classical literature in a modern setting. For those interested in reading Milton's Paradise Lost, it is available for free online at Project Gutenberg and Google Books as of this writing in 2013.
This book was one I borrowed from my public library. No compensation was given to me for this review. I read it and wished to share my thoughts with the BellaOnline.com community.