Quercus Press announce the publication of the first standalone novel in over a decade. Prayer will be published at the end of September 2013.
Special Agent Gil Martins investigates domestic terrorism for the Houston FBI. Once a religious man he has begun to question his faith and the existence of a God who could allow the senseless death and violence that he encounters in his job on a daily basis.
But Gil’s wife Ruth doesn’t see things the same way and his crisis of faith provokes a crisis in their marriage that culminates in her asking him to leave their home. Through the kindness of a Catholic Bishop Gil finds himself living in a near deserted part of Galveston, a once beautiful coastal town that hasn’t yet recovered from the effects of Hurricane Ike.
At the same time Gil begins to investigate a series of unexplained deaths of famous atheists -who have been targeted by the religious right - that brings his own crisis of faith into uncomfortable focus.
When Esther, a disturbed woman, informs Gil that prayer has killed these men, Gil questions her sanity but as the evidence mounts up there might indeed be something in what she says. But her shocking suicide after being released leaves some clues that lead to the Izrael Church of Good Men and Good Women and their charismatic Pastor, Nelson Van Der Velden.
Prayer is a novel of supernatural suspense that came out of Philip Kerr’s time spent with the domestic terrorism section within the Houston FBI. Many of the crimes this particular section investigates have some sort of religious aspect and in this respect most of what is described in the book is entirely accurate and based on real life.
His ultimate purpose was not to write another book about the FBI, but instead to explore the role of religion and the meaning of faith in modern society. Like William Peter Blatty’s book The Exorcist, it is a psychological thriller that gradually turns from being a kind of routine police procedural into a thoroughly modern Gothic horror story”
Philip Kerr is one of the most highly respected UK thriller writers and is generally considered the rightful successor to John le Carré.
He is the author of nine Bernie Gunther novels along with several stand-alone thrillers and a series for children. If the Dead Rise Not won the 2009 CWA Ellis Peters Award for Best Historical Crime Novel and Prague Fatale got to No 13 on the New York Times bestseller list in hardback. A Man Without Breath, Kerr’s most recent novel, reached number eight on the Sunday Times Bestseller list in hardback. Kerr was one of the GRANTA BEST OF YOUNG BRITISH NOVELISTS in 1993 – alongside the late Iain Banks, Louis de Bernières, Alan Hollinghurst, Kazuo Ishiguro, A.L. Kennedy, Hanif Kureishi, Ben Okri, Esther Freud, Will Self, Nicholas Shakespeare, and Jeanette Winterson. He was born and raised in Edinburgh and now lives in Wimbledon, London.
Prayer by Philip Kerr is published in hardback and e-book by Quercus on 3 October 2013 at £18.99 and £12.99 respectively.
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