Baptism-Max Kinnings

Max Kinnings
Quercus, Feb 4 2014, $24.95
ISBN 9781623651022

On Madic Farm in Snowdonia, Wales religious fanatic Tommy Denning deploys his plan to surrender to God’s will by killing Father Owen of the Church of Cruor Christi. Tommy, his even crazier sister Belle and Simeon head to South Wimbledon where they kidnap the wife and two children of George Wakeham to use as hostages in order force the subway driver to cooperate or else they will die.

During a severe heat wave that makes the London Underground an unmanageable sauna, Wakeham’s train stops between the Leicester Square and Tottenham Court Road stations while three hundred plus frightened passengers face heat stroke and imminent execution. Blind Police Detective Chief Inspector Ed Mallory tries to negotiate with the psychopath in charge. As the deaths mount, MI5 conducts a deadly lone wolf operation and officials inside air conditioned rooms take advantage of the situation to further their ambitions.

With a modern day fiery John Brown Taking of Pelham 123, Baptism is an exhilarating action-packed thriller that focuses on the danger of religious fanatics cherry picking the bible to defend their claim of doing God’s will even sacrificing the innocent like Abraham was willing to do. The key players are fascinating as each has major flaws they overcome in everyday life as George drives an underground train in spite of being a claustrophobic; Tommy is a 200 proof psychopath yet a brilliant methodical operational planner; and Ed uses his other senses to overcome his lack of sight. The two prime females (George’s wife and Tommy’s sister) are less developed but enhance, along with the support cast, this bloody look at a lethal brand of religious fanaticism.

Harriet Klausner

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