The Gates

9 / 10

I loved it!
I'm not sure what age group, John Connelly had in mind when he wrote this, neither had the branch of Waterstones when I looked for it on their shelves.
I tried author, crime, young readers, even the assistant could advise, they did have one in the shop, but couldn't find it!.

This wonderful book is funny, it has far more one liners than Connelly's usual approach in the Charlie Parker detective thrillers, but still retains some of the horror, in this case funnier and a little more gentle. 

The story relates to the problem with the CERN Particle Accelerator equipment in Switzerland which inadvertantly makes a connection to a bunch of demons via a small wormhole. The demons make the jump from their universe to ours and try to make readiness for the Gates of Hell to be opened. Our hero is Samuel who, with Boswell his dog, lives in Biddlecombe and his attention is drawn to strange behaviour in a neighbour's house.

In addition to the story,which I won't give away, there are two features of the book that added smiles, and sometimes LOL.

1. The footnotes. A little reminiscent of Douglas Adams Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy in which explanations and additional information are given in  what sounds to me a deadpan voice.  One such footnote addresses the birth of the universe in which 'Scientists call the dot a singularity. People who are religous might call it the mote in God'eye.' Connelly handles this dillema well (allowing for both evolutionist and creationist readers) by adding 'Some scientists will say you can't believe in the singularity and the idea of a god. Some relgious people will try to tell you the same thing. Still you can believe in the singularity and a god, if you like. It's entirely up to you.'

2. The chapter titles. Descriptions on one or two lines - with most words in capitals - of the chapter. Mostly designed to bring on a smile. Here are a couple of examples I enjoyed.
In Which We Learn About Particale Accelerators and the Playing of 'Battleships'
In which we learn About the Inadvisability of Attempting to Summon Up Demons and of Generally Messing About With the Afterlife

The names and descriptions of the demons. There are lots of these and many quite ingenious, for example: Erics' the demon of Bad Punctuation and a single description, and  'A platoon of imps, two-foot-high red demons armed with small pitchforks, had attacked a florist's shop, only to discover that they were all allergic to pollen.'

I used the Amazon Kindle to read the book and found the book easy to read. Although I missed the comfortable feel of the book, and the facility to look at the notes on the cover (which may have told me who the book was aimed at), but after a few sessions forgot about the Kindle and took some delight in being able to flick onto Maciavelli's 'The Prince' without having to get up from my chair!

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