By Michael G. Cornelius
THE ASCENSION starts. A Catholic bishop. A Quaker prayer chief. A Methodist minister. A Mormon ward chief. a complete congregation of 7th Day Adventists. What have they got in universal? all of them minister to people's non secular wishes. And someone-or something-is ripping them to shreds for it. A BLOODY caution. Police detective Caldwell "Cal" Evans, nonetheless 3 weeks shy of finishing rehab, is termed in at the case. His in basic terms clue is a chilling message written in blood on the first homicide scene: "Leave the Christ by myself. He doesn't belong to you." THE SERPENT SHALL REIGN. With our bodies piling up, Cal and his companion, Velvet Rabinowitz, chase leads related to snake-handling cults, the useless Sea Scrolls, and an historic rite left unfinished for 2 thousand years. With assistance from a graduate pupil and an enigmatic Roman Catholic priest, the 2 detectives do greater than struggle for his or her lives. .THEY struggle FOR US ALL.
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Ramirez. Cal turned and saw Ramirez facing him. He glared at Cal, clearly unhappy that his senior detective had been called onto the scene. “He was a man of the cloth, after all. ” “Save it for Sunday school, Ramirez,” Cal said. He could feel his disgust at seeing the body being replaced by aggravation. And some fun—needling Ramirez was always good sport. ” “No; no, this is a tragedy,” Ramirez said gravely. ” Ramirez opened his mouth to protest, but Cal raised his hand for silence. ” This was their standard method of teaching.
Ramirez whirled in his seat. ” he asked excitedly. He didn’t see anything. ” Cal pointed. “Roman’s Burgers! ” Cal made a quick right turn and pulled in the parking lot of the burger joint. ” Ramirez asked. ” Cal said, stepping out of the car and slamming the door with a flourish. “We need to eat, don’t we? Keep our strength up. Besides, the lab results won’t be in until late this afternoon. ” “Battery’s dead. ” Cal shrugged as he opened to restaurant door. The overpowering smell of burning beef and sizzling bacon assaulted his olfactory sense.
You’ve seen all this before. Just keep walking. Cal finally halted about five feet from the driver’s side door. He closed his eyes and bent down. He could already smell the rusty, acrid scent of spilled blood. Cal forced his eyes open. He could see the man-shaped form under the canvas. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a glove. He had seen this type of thing before. It’ll be okay. Just pull back the canvas. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before. Cal was wrong. Holes. Cal’s first impression as he saw the body was holes—gaping, mawing holes that covered the chest, belly, and neck.