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Black Cathedral (2008)
Fiction Review by Tim Janson

Black Cathedral (2008) When several managers of a large company disappear without a trace during survival training on a remote Scottish island, the government calls in Department 18, their special paranormal investigative unit. The well-trained psychics and ghost-hunters discover that theses corporate white shirts are just the latest in a series of disappearances on the island that date back for centuries. Among the group is powerful psychic Robert Carter. The group's secret benefactor requested his participation especially. Carter is battling a wave of depression and uncertainty. While investigating another haunting, his young and inexperienced partner also disappeared. Carter blames himself for her disappearance and wants to be through with the Department. Carter soon discovers that her disappearance may be linked to the disappearances on the island. Nothing will prepare the group for the horrors that await them, however, horrors that have their roots in long-forgotten religious practices.

Black Cathedral is a masterful haunted house tale that reminded me of the old film, "The Legend of Hell House". It's a throwback to films and tales that relied on atmosphere and psychological terror rather than blood and gore. Sims and Maynard move the plot along with a rapid pace but they still don't slouch on building a brooding tension. The story was unique in it's combining of modern Catholic Jesuit ideology with ancient Jewish Kaballahism. The characters are rather stock in their personalities...Carter clashes with his no nonsense, demanding boss, Simon Crozier and they are probably the two most developed characters in the story. The one weakness the book has is its very abrupt ending. I found myself with only a few pages left and was thinking that maybe my copy was missing some pages. Then Poof! It was all over without so much as the slightest thought of an epilogue. This leaves you feeling a little short changed as if perhaps the editor had decreed a certain page length and the story was whittled down to meet the demand.

Black Cathedral Written by: L.H. Maynard & M.P.N. Sims

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