Faith is defined as belief that is not based on proof. One can find joy in practicing their faith, and also find comfort from their faith in times of hardship. But, what happens to that faith when tragic events occur that make it difficult, if not impossible, to blindly accept that what has occurred is all in the plan of a Supreme Being, a God who knows all, sees all, and tests that faith every second of every day? Do we simply go on and hope that, through our continual assent, we’re passing said tests and that, when our time comes, an eternal reward awaits us? Is it realistic to hope also that our reward will include, not only free access to the Tree of Knowledge which will enable us to understand the purpose behind all, but also enable us to reunite with any and all loved ones who have pre-deceased us? One man had strong faith, but when life dealt him a horrific hand, he began to doubt and question, and decided to seek his answers in a most unusual and dangerous way.
The Knowledge of Good & Evil relates the story of Ian Barringer, who was an investigator of supernatural mysteries on behalf of a television show entitled Probing the Paranormal, that he and Dr. Angela Weber worked on. Dr. Weber, a psychologist, in addition to being responsible for helping Ian try to deal with the loss of his parents through various types of therapy and analysis, was also Ian’s fiance.
Ian’s parents had been killed in a terrible accident when he was a child. He was plagued long into his adult life with emotional difficulties concerning their death. He was raised in an orphanage, and later entered the seminary and was ordained a priest. Over the years, however, the trauma and doubt resurfaced and he left the church. Even with all the years of treatment, the loss of his parents was something he simply could not move beyond.
All the obsessions and fears return, and he informs his fiance that he intends to seek assistance to resolve his emotional turmoil. He assures her he loves her and wants to marry her, but cannot move forward in his life until he can resolve the issues surrounding his parents’ death, and the questions of faith regarding his fear that they are lost to him forever. He travels to a monastery and initially keeps in touch with her on a regular basis. The letters then become sporadic, and finally cease. After no word from him for over a week, Angela receives a telephone call from a priest at the monastery who informs her that Ian is there, in the Caribbean, and that her help is needed to stop him. She doesn’t understand what it is that she needs to stop him from doing, and she is informed that she needs to stop him before he kills himself.
Before you envision Ian sitting on a ledge threatening to jump, or locked in a windowless room, sitting in the bathtub holding a razorblade to his wrist, let me explain. Ian has no intention of committing suicide--technically. He does plan to die, yes, but not remain in that state. He fully intends to return to the living. Ian’s plan is to achieve clinical death, then journey to whatever afterlife exists, and return. His purpose? To find out what happened to his parents, perhaps even interact with them; basically, to find out the truth. What happens after death--where does the soul go--is there a pre-Heaven interim location--is a sentence to Hell really eternal? Now, if that isn’t enough to make you want to grab this book and get started, there’s more. A secret faction of the Church is in no way supportive of Ian’s efforts. There is doctrine that the Church wants its followers to know and then again, there are documents, events and occurrences that the Church feels are best kept behind locked doors. This group will do anything it has to--and I do mean anything--to stop Ian from gaining the Knowledge and from visiting the various levels of Heaven and Hell.
We share his experiences with death and his travels through all the regions of Heaven and Hell, as Angela waits in the realm of the living and prays he is able to return undamaged--able to return at all. Does he find answers to his questions--to the questions all mankind has been asking for centuries? Is he able to finally come to terms with the death of his parents and find the strength to be able to move forward with this life?
The Knowledge of Good & Evil is a breathtaking thriller indeed. Twist upon twist will keep you turning the pages until the very last. The story will entertain you, the characters will intrigue you, the vivid descriptions of the realms and residents therein will terrify you, and whatever your personal beliefs are, it will leave you wondering. I guarantee, once you begin, you will not want to put this one down. I rate it Five Stars and then some.
The author of The Knowledge of Good & Evil is Glenn Kleier. For more information on this book, Glenn, and his other works, check out his website here.