“Devil’s Toll” is Malachi Stone’s Christian fiction novel about the strange and troubled paranormal research of associate psychology professor, Steven Toddmann, and the small handful of friends who worry about Steven’s career choices and eventually his sanity. After the bizarre unexplained deaths of Steven’s para-psychological mentor and his beloved wife, Steven’s life goes off the rails. But after a year of grief and depression, Steven meets a lovely young student who shares his passion for the paranormal. He immediately grants her a position as his research assistant.But as Steven listens to the wild tales the young woman tells of time travel, his fascination with and attraction to her deepens. But his romantic feelings for his research assistant, Hope, aside, Steven’s friends regard Hope’s time-traveler tales with suspicion. It falls to a reluctant Fred, Steve’s friend and lawyer in a case that involves Steve’s employment with the community college, to find out the truth of Hope’s identity. As Fred’s investigation and Steven’s relationship with Hope intensify, though, strange new facts come to light that put Steven’s job and Fred’s family in danger. Both men must ultimately uncover the truth of Steven’s paranormal theories, the strange death of his wife, and Hope’s identity before both Fred and Steve lose the things most precious to them.
4 out of 5 Stars: Throughout this book, Mr. Stone grounds the emotional and religious in a real world with complex characters, which makes this book interesting to think about, regardless of one’s religious persuasion. While I’m not sure that people who are not Christian, or Catholic will gravitate to this title, any who do will not be disappointed with the level of writing, characterization, and story-telling. The book is well told with an effective use of multiple perspectives, and the plot maintains an exciting pace. It’s a fun book, with a good sense of humor and an interesting perspective which should appeal to people who are genuinely interested in discussing religion.
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