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By Brian Evenson, Peter Straub

"The deceptively easy prose retains the e-book brisk or even gripping as its puzzles develop extra craggy and complicated. this can be Evenson's singular, Poe-like present: He writes with intelligence and a gentle hand, even if his characters choose to lop their very own limbs off."—Time Out New York

When Kline is abducted through a gloomy sect that believes amputation brings you in the direction of God, he is tasked with uncovering who murdered their chief. Will he discover the reality in time to save lots of himself, tackle the mantle of prophet, or break all he sees with a rain of biblical violence?

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Crucify Him. " Kline felt his limbs develop without warning heavy, the lacking limb so much of all. Borchert was once creating a repeated barking sound, like he used to be choking to loss of life, his respiring masks fogging inside of. It took Kline a while to gain he was once giggling. "You're lying," acknowledged Kline. "It was once you who desired to crucify me. " Borchert stopped barking. "Of path we needed to crucify you," he acknowledged, "but as one of many thieves. it really is various for them. imagine it via, Mr. Kline. " Kline stayed immobile, staring at Borchert's broken face twitch. "Why? " he ultimately requested. "Why? " requested Borchert, and his complete physique appeared to balk. "Because Paul believes in you, Mr. Kline. Paul thinks you are the one. You got here like a thief within the evening. You got here bearing no longer an olive department yet a sword. You left a swath of fireplace and destruction on your direction. You appear to him as though you're most unlikely to slay via mortal capability. In his eyes, you're the Son of guy, that is to assert the Son of God. " "I'm not," acknowledged Kline. "And what does one do with the Son of guy? " requested Borchert. "One crucifies Him, in fact. One does him the desire of supporting Him step out of this mortal around, hence making the Son of guy the Son of God. there is additionally in fact the problem of you being the single individual one of the Pauls extra robust than he. At this element, Mr. Kline, you are extra worthy to him useless than alive. " "What may still I do? " "Alas, Mr. Kline, you have run out of questions. you will have to determine that one out by yourself. Or really you will have yet one more query that awaits a solution: How does Mr. Borchert decide to die? " "How does Mr. Borchert decide to die? " requested Kline. "In the back," stated Borchert, "near the hotplate, you can find a cleaver. i feel you are already fairly acquainted with its mode of operation. i need you to carry one ultimate amputation. i need you to split my head from my physique. " "You what? " "You promised," stated Borchert. "A demise man's ultimate request. " Kline did not say whatever. "It's now not that i think in you exactly," stated Borchert. "But i would not say i do not believe in you both. Let's simply say i am hedging my bets. " after which it got here back, that barking chuckle. there is no cause to do it, a part of him saved announcing as he went to fetch the cleaver. simply shoot him within the head and be performed with him. yet one other a part of him was once announcing, Why no longer? What did it subject? He had come right here with the purpose of killing Borchert: why now not kill him during this means? And a 3rd a part of himself, the half that terrified him the main, was once asserting, What if Paul is correct? What if i'm God? there'll consistently be 3 of me any more, he idea, or a 3rd a part of him idea, or a fourth a part of him proposal, and he shook his head. He was once again on the mattress, conserving the cleaver now, staring down at Borchert. "Ready? " he requested. "Go ahead," stated Borchert, and Kline felt his hand bring up the cleaver after which carry it down demanding. A neck, it grew to become out, was once now not approximately really easy as an elbow. both that or the cleaver used to be duller than it have been, or Kline flinched while he brought the blow, or it used to be now not a fresh blow firstly.

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