Michael Hanlon and the African Imperative

Book Two of the Saints and Demons Trilogy

The year is 2012. Prince Lucifer is disposed and Multus takes over. His first order of business is to come up with an innovative means of securing earthly tenure, something that constantly eluded their former leader. With his newly-formed Satanic Governing Council now comprised of such cunning minds as Tomás de Torquemada, father of the Spanish Inquisition, many helpful suggestions soon arise. But one senior demon has something else on his mind: revenge! Having been made a fool of the last time around, Maloch is keen to have another crack at Michael and Susan Hanlon, now hiding out in Africa in a previous era. Should those two prove to be inviolate, Maloch is given permission to seek out their friends and relatives and turn their lives into a living hell!

The year is 1950. In a small central Newfoundland town, 14-year-old Charlie Goodyear is visiting Michael’s mother when he learns that his girlfriend Donna Lane has been brutally murdered. Later, upon returning home, he is told that another close friend was also struck down in the same horrific manner. Thinking he might be next, Charlie digs out one of Colonel Goodyear’s WWII pistols and starts carrying it around. In discussing his concern with RCMP Sgt. Ben Pearson, the Mountie reluctantly agrees that their community might be faced with the same problem they had this time last year, which ended up with the mysterious disappearance of Charlie’s closest friend Michael Hanlon and Sister Catherine, a local school teacher. When Charlie is forbidden by Reverend Mother Josephine to attend Donna Lane’s funeral because the service is to take place in a protestant church, he becomes angry and storms out of school. Just as he is leaving the building, a strange young girl shows up to tell Charlie she knows something about the murder of his two friends. The very formal Edith Goodyear later surprises her son by inviting Faith Romanga to stay with them. Her presence soon calms the boy down; and over the next few days, while experiencing a number of harrowing situations, 12-year-old Faith draws ever closer to Charlie.

Michael Hanlon and his lovely wife Susan, formerly Sister Catherine of the Presentation Order, reside in a pygmy village in Cameroon. Married one year ago, they are exceedingly happy. But once Maloch returns to their era, he loses no time devising a clever scheme to get to them. Despite restrictions imposed upon the demon by Faith’s mother, Saint Sophia of Rome, Michael and Susan are quickly taken captive and brought to a Bantu village where they are to be tossed into a blazing fire. But Sophia’s second daughter, Hope, has been assigned to look after the young couple. Forbidden to take human life, the 10-year-old revered saint and martyr arranges with Faith to transport Charlie and his father’s WWII sub-machine gun into the mêlée where the boy is forced to strike down several Bantu warriors. This allows Michael and Susan to escape their fate—for the moment. But with Charlie’s departure and the angry Bantu hot on their trail, it’s just a matter time before they are run to ground. Three days later an unfortunate set of circumstances leads to Susan being taken captive by a gang of Arab slavers.

Thus signals the beginning of a desperate race across North Africa, as Michael must catch up to Susan before she meets with an excruciating death in Casablanca at the hands of Lord Azhar, known locally at Azhar the Vampire. Then, as the end approaches, help arrives in the form of several RCMP officers, all WWII veterans, under the leadership of the new Mount Peyton commanding officer, Inspector Claude Léger. But Maloch has anticipated this move, and with Lord Azhar fully protected by sixty former SS Nazi soldiers led by the notorious Gestapo Colonel Hoffman—who just happens to be the man responsible for torturing Charlie’s mother while she was working with the French resistance during the war—the demon is confident that this time he will be able to put an end to Michael and Susan Hanlon.

Throughout this (192,850 word) story the action continues to move back and forth between Mount Peyton and various locales in Africa until Michael and Susan are finally reunited in Casablanca, but only to face death together, as Sophia’s daughters cannot intervene except where obvious demonic activity is involved. Only one outcome is possible, and Maloch will have his wish after all.

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