Absence of Faith
by Anthony S. Policastro
Copyright: © 2009
If Tim LeHaye and Michael Crichton had ever gotten together to write a book, it would probably end up being something like Anthony Policastro’s Absence of Faith. It’s part medical mystery and part religious thriller all rolled up in a plot of Christianity, Unexplained Phenomenon, New Age Beliefs, and Satanic Occults. It’s a white-knuckle read that would probably drive a Baptist preacher to an early death, and probably have Stephen King saying, “Now why didn’t I think of that?”
Dr. Carson Hyll and his wife are just settling down to a new life in Ocean Village. But Dr. Hyll falls asleep, a mysterious black out, at the wheel and drives his car off a bridge and into the river. His near death experience is so horrible that he believes he has actually gone to hell and back and lived to tell about it. But his bare skin ends up telling the story instead. It suddenly becomes covered in first degree burns. But the doctor isn’t alone. Other residents of Ocean Village start have the same experiences, blisters and all.
Officials are baffled by what’s happening to the townspeople of Ocean Village. Is it an unexplained outbreak? Is it a sign from God? Panic breaks out as those suffering from the mysterious burns start to believe that it’s a sign of Satan and that God has abandoned them. Satanists decide to take advantage of the situation and prey on the fears of the suffering, moving into Ocean Village and spreading their word. Their leader, Kyle Mabus, takes center stage and insists he is the Anti-Christ. The vivid and chilling descriptions of Kyle’s blood-lust habits will make your stomach churn! I myself was raised in the pews of a Baptist Church. The preacher had to give us permission to clap after someone sang a solo because we sat there in silence most of the time.