Author: Dale Allan
Publisher: Emerald Book Company
Have you ever noticed that there are books where you really have to struggle to get into it while some others you just breeze through it and hope the story will never end?
Dale Allan’s bold and clever debut novel A Prayer For The Devil falls into the latter category, although I must admit that he may have stepped on a few toes particularly among some members of the Muslim faith, as well as non-Christians.
Allan structures his yarn into three parts the first of which sets up the story and the motivation for his protagonist to take action which all begins when at the Boston Common a US presidential candidate, Brad Thompson, his campaign manager, Aaron Miller, who has aspirations of one day becoming a US senator, and a Muslim woman, Ablaa Radboud are all killed on stage by a bomb when Thompson was about to commence his speech.
As the story unfolds, we learn that Aaron has a twin brother, Luke and what is more they were born from a Jewish father and a Catholic mother. Aaron became a very successful and wealthy attorney who followed the Hebrew religion while his brother Luke adopted his mother’s Catholic religion and entered the priesthood- no doubt, causing a good deal of strife within his family.
Upon learning of the murder of his brother Aaron, and feeling a great deal of inner turmoil, Luke vows to track down his brother’s killer, even though his actions may be contrary to the teachings of his Catholic religion. He also vows to take care of his brother’s wife and two children, which leads to some uncalled for gossip among the media as well as some other nasty busybodies.
The second part of the yarn focuses on Luke’s quest to discover who committed this atrocious crime and it is here where all kinds of obstacles are thrown in his way keeping him from achieving his goal. He continually questions why his brother was murdered along with a presidential candidate and furthermore did this Muslim woman have anything to do with the killing? And just as the search for the truth starts to become quite elusive and all seems to be doomed, along comes a homeless man who sheds light as to what might have happened. However, how rational and reliable is this man? Can he be trusted to divulge the truth and will his information only lead to a wild goose chase or will Luke eventually unravel the truth?
Without giving away too much of our impressive multifaceted story, Allan, with his story-telling prowess, manages to effectively resolve matters in the third act. However, he does close with some unsettling and deep questions leaving his readers to ponder the “what ifs,” “whys,” and the subject of revenge. It now becomes more than just the exploration of the mystery surrounding a twin brother’s murder, it is also a story that is replete with the unexpected.
As for Allan’s writing , I have to admit that he fully understands the value of careful plot construction as his story unfolds with an intriguing cast of characters. And listening to the exchanges between these characters, we actually feel that we are eavesdropping on real conversations-all of which leads to a splendid novel on all counts.
Dale Allan is a graduate of Fordham University and has held several senior positions in Fortune 250 companies. He is a world traveler, a black belt in martial arts, and avid fly fisherman, and a political junkie.
Follow Here To Read Norm’s Interview With Dale Allan