Michael Kanaly

Subterranean Press, Eos/HarperCollins / 272 pages / May 2002

ISBN: 0441004660

The greatest threat to children in America? Anyone who has investigated the situation will answer, without hesitation, the sexual predator. Pedophiles are perhaps the most overlooked danger in our society. More books like Thoughts Of God could change that lethal underestimation. Read it and you will never look at the strangers and acquaintances around you the same way again. Good… best thing that ever happened to you.

Dennison York is a registered, licensed Hunter, or legalised vigilante in the city of New York. His latest case: find an abducted child, the victim of a serial child rapist and murderer. Her parents hire York in the hope that his relentless pursuit will produce their daughter, and not her corpse. Nothing is going to stop York from solving the case, not even personal loss.

Arnie Watts is the cunning and sociopathic killer. He has left a string of bodies and open files across the country, as he enjoys his “hunts.” So far, he has managed to escape detection. When he selects Yvonne Stafford as his latest adolescent victim, he takes on an enemy who will devote himself to hunting down the predator.

If Thoughts Of God sounds like a pure horror novel or one of psychological suspense, you haven’t taken the title into account. This crime, this city, this country, this world, are all part of a huge experiment set into motion and monitored by a superior being. Earth is just a minuscule sample in the unimaginable vastness of the universe. With all of creation to work with, God has seen examples of every kind of result and documents them all meticulously. According to his observations and lab notes, this planet has been a major disappointment.

God’s view of the myriad of lifeforms stretches the imagination with every possible outcome of intelligent life. The species and civilisations mentioned, or discussed in detail, range from the familiar to the mind-boggling. Yet, in every case, there are similarities and parallels, though, the correspondence may not hit the reader until long after the page is turned. There are some things every being needs, things we have in common, no matter how differently we are assembled.

But, only on Earth, has the practice of torturing and killing for sexual arousal developed. Worms, scaled creatures, spiritual entities, and every other soul must feed and reproduce and survive. Humans kill for sport. This is a grave failure in the supreme being’s eyes, and one that may merit extermination of that phase of the project.

Thoughts Of God is a fascinating, harrowing book to read. Kanaly is unflinching and accurate in his depiction of the vilest aspects of human beings. On the other hand, he recognises the strengths and frailties that may make us an animal and a planet worth saving. Not all of us, though. There are so many we would be safer and better off without.