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William Peter Blatty
Narrated by the author, unabridged
Macmillan Audio, 8 hours

William Peter Blatty
William Peter Blatty, the writer of numerous novels and screenplays, is best known for his novel, The Exorcist. An Academy Award winner for his screenplay for The Exorcist, Blatty is not only the author of one of the most terrifying novels ever written, but also cowrote the screenplay for the hilarious Inspector Clouseau film, A Shot in the Dark. He lives with his wife and a son in Maryland.

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A review by Gil T. Wilson

  The author of The Exorcist has a new book out, but don't let that fool you into thinking it's a horror novel. While this book does delve into some mysticism, it is pretty much a spy thriller. When I first received the audiobook, I noticed it was read by the author. Listening to audiobooks, this can be a hit or miss situation. In this case I think the jury is still out. On the hit side, the author knows what he wrote and what he intended and can impress upon the listener the ideas that are most important in the story. The miss is that, while William Peter Blatty has an interesting voice, at times it is very monotonous and lulls the listener. Also, Blatty is not a voice actor and does not distinguish the separate voices within character dialogue. As a result, I became very confused as to who was saying what and many times in this book I was lost.

Some of that feeling of being lost may also be attributed to the twists and turns Blatty wrote into this tale. In fact, not until the very end is it all explained, and even then there's a bit of mystery to the ending. The story opens in the 1970s in Albania, when a prisoner suspected of being an enemy agent is captured and subjected to horrendous torture. Although he should be experiencing excruciating pain, at no time does the prisoner show pain in either his voice or actions. In fact, he maintains an eerie silence and at times, by a simple glance, changes the mood of his torturers. Eventually the prisoner escapes and completes the mission.

The prisoner is known as Dimiter, the American "agent from Hell." Dimiter is notorious for taking on the harder missions and completing them with no mistakes. The story then jumps to Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital, where a series of unexplained deaths revolve around a strange mix of personnel. They are all intertwined in the story as the deaths unfold and Dimiter's final mission is exposed.

The confusion about the deaths mainly involves the identities of who dies -- when one person is discovered dead, the name on the papers does not match the true identity of the deceased. Many times it seems as though the body is that of Dimiter. But not until the final briefing between American CIA and Israeli forces does the body count begin to make sense. However, after it is all figured out, Blatty throws a final curve ball and the story may not be over yet. All in all, a very interesting book covering the issues of vengeance, soul searching, loss and love.

Copyright © 2010 Gil T. Wilson

Gil T. has spent a quarter of a century working in radio and has lots of spare time on his hands and reading or listening to books takes up all that time. Check out his blog to find out what he's up to at any given moment.

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