Logic of Demons: The Quest for Nadine's Soul by H A Goodman
|Logic of Demons: The Quest for Nadine's Soul by H A Goodman|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: A helterskelter ride through the afterlife that asks the reader to think about the consequences - intended and unintended - of their actions. A highly imaginative, sometimes touching, story, told with great pace and enthusiasm. H A Goodman was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 272||Date: July 2010|
|External links: Author's website|
Devin is in pieces. His pregnant wife has been raped and murdered and revenge is all he can think about. He listens to the advice of his worried father-in-law - who counsels against doing anything rash - but listening is not the same as hearing. And Devin doesn't truly hear his father-in-law's wise words at all. Instead, he focuses on the angry voice in his head, which tells him such an evil murderer has no right to live.
And so, for the first time in his life, Devin succumbs to a violent impulse. He becomes a vigilante and beats his wife's murderer to death. Crashing in to the horrific scene, the police interpret Devin as a threat and open fire, killing him instantly. Within days of his wife's death, Devin finds himself joining her in the afterlife - but they haven't been reunited. Devin belongs to the Company now, apparently, and his only chance of seeing Bridget again is to sell a mysterious Formula to a living girl he's never met.
And Devin agrees...
In Logic of Demons, H A Goodman takes us on a rollercoaster of a ride around the afterlife. It's a very imaginative way of showing us how all our choices have consequences and that some of those consequences can be not only unintended but also terrible. He also makes it clear just how easy it is to quiet our consciences and listen to the voices of the demons within us. After all, what would you do if someone close to you was murdered by a psychopathic stranger? If you had the opportunity for extra-judicial revenge, would you take it? Can you say that you wouldn't be tempted?
In Goodman's version of the afterlife, Devin is asked to think about this and many other much broader issues - child soldiers, prostitution, sex-trafficking, religious fundamentalism, even genocide. For if the wrong choices made by individuals can have disastrous consequences, what happens when entire societies make them?
It's not all existential conundrums though - there are sparklings of humour running through the book in the form of some of the supporting characters. My favourite was the Company's Boss - Satan to you and me, but in Devin's surreal afterlife she prefers to be called Pam. Pam is a truly awful caricature of the woman who won't age - propped up by cosmetics and cosmetic surgery and a vision of beauty only she can see. Mean to laugh?! Maybe so, but I could picture her perfectly.
The narrative has more twists and turns than you could shake a stick at, but I didn't see the final twist coming - I was too busy rooting for Nadine, the young girl causing heavenly civil war, to realise where Devin's adventures were actually heading. Perhaps there's a little bit too much thrown in for a truly focused book, but it's better to keep your readers guessing than give it all away. I'd also have liked to have seen a few less said bookims and bit more show not tell, but overall, I enjoyed Logic of Demons as an imaginative and pacy book that will give all its readers plenty of pause for thought.
The obvious further reading is The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - also about the afterlife in the aftermath of a rape and murder. If you haven't read it already, you should.
H A Goodman was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Logic of Demons: The Quest for Nadine's Soul by H A Goodman at Amazon.com.
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