What do you get when you cross a quasi-Catholic folk cult, an interdimensional conspiracy, and a hard-boiled reporter/Earth Guardian? Why, Mike Duran’s Saint Death, of course. This second installment in the Reagan Moon series conjures a menagerie of the grotesque and macabre. When an anonymous tip leads Moon to a shrine used for human sacrifice, he learns demonic forces are threatening Los Angeles. But this time our loner hero must team with a band of fellow oddballs to stand a chance of averting catastrophe. But can he can hold readers’ attention through swarms of internal monologues and plagues of overwrought prose? That will depend on readers’ affection for the noir genre. Those who don’t mind passively perplexed protagonists will find plenty of Peretti parallels in this noncommittally theistic paranormal thriller.
Best for: Adults interested in a gritty angels-and-demons yarn with astronomical stakes.
Discern: Creepy violence, mild-to-moderate language, and low-to-midlevel supernatural beings without much reference to supreme rulers of their good or evil hierarchies.