Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"The first step in a person's salvation is knowledge of their sin." Seneca

In "Beyond Salvation" author Darcia Helle has given her fans another enjoyable reading experience.
This is the second book with Michael Sykora as the central protagonist. The first Michael Sykora book is the equally enjoyable "No Justice."
Where the author has explored caring for an ailing adult parent in their later years, this work explores runaway teenagers and the perils that they can face.
Sixteen year old Sara Rivers is a runaway who is taken off the street by two men in a SUV.
Her teenage friends, Derek and Jay, had once done a reformed prostitute named Nicki a favor. Now they want her help.
Because they are runaways with their own baggage, they can't go to the officials for help. Even if they did, they don't believe that there would be much attention given to a missing teen.
Nicki is friends with Michael Sykora, who knows how to get things done. He is a software developer in the day and a hit man, known as the Ghost, who eliminates criminals who prey on the innocent. Michael particularly dislikes child molesters.
In this case, Michael is assisted by his friend and fellow hit man, Sean.
What they find is that there is a fundamentalist religious community that assists parents who feel that their children have strayed. They often resort to abducting the suspected youngster who, in their parents opinion, is beginning to move away from God's teaching. However, there are complications such as their particular attention to the young women they abduct and the means that they use to persuade them to do their wishes.
The characters are well described and it is easy for the reader to root for the success of Michael and his assistant. The plot was also interesting and informative. Overall, I recommend this book for those who want to not only read a good book but learn something at the same time.

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