Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Whispering Room

The Whispering Room
By Amanda Stevens

I am on an Amanda Stevens kick lately. I really enjoyed The Restorer and decided to read more of her writings. In a couple of days, I will post my review on The Kingdom and I can't wait to read the next book in the Graveyard Queen series in May. I checked this book out of the library and left it on the shelf for awhile because I couldn't get in to the description on the cover.

I finally read it and really enjoyed it. I think I finished it within a day, so it is a quick and easy read. It is another horror/romance/mystery book.  However, instead of ghosts the scary plot device is snakes. I am not particularly afraid of snakes. I don't mind looking at them or even touching them. I am wary of snakes in the wild. But when I read this book, I became terrified of these snakes! Stevens does a good job setting up the scary factor and really drawing the reader in.

The book is about Evangeline Theroux, a widowed New Orleans police detective. She has a five month old son with whom she has not yet bonded. She is still grieving over her husband, also a detective who was killed on the job. As she begins to solve a murder mystery -- a man was killed by multiple snake bites -- she finds her way blocked by an FBI investigation into her husband's murder and her path stalked by a strange man who leaves origami birds for her.

I must say that I did not expect the ending. Stevens wrote in such a way that had me thinking one way when the answer was in another. When the mystery was solved and several things came to light, I was intrigued. I won't say more here or I will spoil it.

What did this book have to do with my faith? The book's premise is that there is a gene capable of making a person evil. This means that a person would be pre-disposed to commit murder and other crimes because of their genetic make-up. The answer that some characters in the book have is that this type of person must be eradicated. Better to kill them before they hurt someone else. The questions in my mind are ones of free will and nurture. If we kill those who have this evil gene, we take away their free will. We also deny any kind of nurturing that would prevent the person from becoming evil. I suppose if you followed the evil gene theory, you would basically be following Calvin's idea of predestination. Calvin's theory is simply this: God had chosen so many people to be saved and those God called were predestined to find Christ and receive salvation. If we are one of the chosen, our free will only kicks in when we choose or don't choose to receive this salvation. Everyone else is out of luck. I do not believe in predestination. Neither do I accept this evil gene idea.

I really enjoyed (in a cathartic, heart-beating, nail-biting way) The Whispering Room and recommend it to anyone who likes the same. Warning: DO NOT read this book if you are afraid of snakes!!

Happy Reading!


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