Tallis, a philosopher's servant, is sent to a Greek academy in Palestine only to discover that it has silently disappeared. No one will tell him what happened, but he learns what has become of four of the scholars. One is murdered. One committed suicide. One now worships in the temple of Dionysus. And one...one is a madman.
If there is a way into madness, logic says there is a way out. Logic says.
Tallis, a philosopher's servant, is sent to a Greek academy in Palestine only to discover that it has silently, ominously disappeared. No one will tell him what happened, but he learns what has become of four of its scholars. One was murdered. One committed suicide. One worships in the temple of Dionysus. And one is a madman.
From the author of The Brother's Keeper comes a tale of mystery, horror, and hope in the midst of unimaginable darkness, the story behind the Geresene demoniac of the gospels of Mark and Luke.
TRACY GROOT is a part-time writer and co-owner of a popular coffee shop and juice bar. Tracy is author of The Brother's Keeper, Stones of My Accusers and Madman. She, her husband Jack, and their three boys live in Holland, Michigan.
Groot's well-paced, beautifully written historical novel begins in the tombs
of Kursi in Palestine on the Sea of Galilee. The story focuses on Tallis, an
Athenian servant and scholar who has come to Hippos to learn about the fate of
a Socratic academy his master has assembled and bankrolled. As he pieces
together cryptic, horrifying details of the academy's dissolution, Tallis
finds himself drawn to the owners and staff of the inn where he is a guest.
Groot reveals the secrets of the lost academy as well as those of the
innkeepers gradually and with virtually no contrivance. Important moments,
such as the attempted rescue of a little boy, unfold with understated
suspense, which is a delightful departure from the typically tedious,
telegraphed and overplayed plot turns in the bulk of contemporary faith-based
thrillers. Perhaps most gratifying about the novel is its subtle Christian
message; all but the last few pages take place during Jesus' ministry but
before the characters have encountered him. Groot depicts these characters as
good souls hungering for a greater good with which they might fight the almost
overpowering evil forces sucking the life out of their community. Jesus'
miraculous entry into their lives provides a satisfying and believable
conclusion to this entertaining and compelling book. (Apr.) Copyright 2006
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