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Prayer: Book summary and reviews of Prayer by Philip Kerr

Prayer by Philip Kerr X
Prayer by Philip Kerr
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  • Published in USA  May 2014
    432 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

Gil Martins, an agent with the FBI's Domestic Terrorism Unit in Houston, confronts the violence generated by extremism within our nation's borders every day. He sees hatred and destruction wrought by every kind of "ism" there is, and the zealots who kill in their names. Until now, he has always been a part of the solution - however imperfect - a part of justice. But when Gil discovers he played a key role in wrongly condemning an innocent man to death row, it shakes his faith - in the system, in himself, and in God - deeply. It even estranges him from his wife and son.

Desperate, Gil offers up a prayer. To know God is there, not through a sign or physical demonstration but through the strength to cope with his ever-growing, ever-creeping doubts.

His problems become more than personal as things heat up in Houston. A serial killer terrorizing the morally righteous turns out to have religious motivations, upping the case from homicide to domestic terrorism. A number of prominent secular icons die or are grievously injured abruptly and under suspicious circumstances, the latest of which is a New Atheist writer who's fallen into an inexplicable coma. Left and right, it seems Gil can't escape the power of God and murder.

As Gil investigates both cases, he realizes that there may be a connection - answering his prayers in a most terrifying way.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Provocative... Evocative phrasing is another plus in this exceptional thriller." - Publishers Weekly

"Here moral complexity is raised to a new high in a contemporary psychological thriller that is eerily terrifying and disturbing." - Library Journal, starred review

"A compelling and unsettling change of pace for the popular Kerr." - Booklist

"Tantalizingly creepy." - The Observer

"A rum beast that uses the cosy familiarity of the thriller form to buttress a fantastical supernatural plot...As fans of his Berlin-set Bernie Gunther novels will know, Kerr is a details man. His deep-level research brings Houston and its environs to dusty, sun-bleached life. Martins' narration, too, is deftly handled – Prayer demands to be read more than once." -The Guardian (UK)

"When Kerr goes off-piste, as he does here, the freedom sends his imagination into some very peculiar places. Who else could make a crackling thriller out of the current debate between religion and atheism?...What if the Almighty exists, but is horrible? The story unfolds at a white-knuckle pace, with a sense of the unknown that is genuinely disturbing." - The Sunday Times

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Author Information

Philip Kerr Author Biography

Philip Kerr was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and studied at the University of Birmingham. Following university he worked as a copywriter at a number of advertising agencies, during which time he wrote no advertising slogans of any note. He spent most of his time in advertising researching an idea he had for a novel.

His first book in the Bernie Gunther series, March Violets, was published in 1989. He has written for the Sunday Times, Evening Standard and the New Statesman. In addition to at least eleven books for adults including the Bernie Gunther series, he was also the author of the Children of the Lamp series written under the name P.B. Kerr.

He died of cancer in March 2018 aged 62 a few weeks ahead of the publication of Greeks Bearing Gifts (April 2018), and having completed a ...

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