This novel raises a lot of philosophical and spiritual questions about evil. Most of its characters are in close contact with evil – police officers, priests and serial killers. There are multiple threads centered on crime and retribution. With so many subplots, it's easy to become confused, lose your way and put the book down. But if you stick with it, a fascinating story emerges.
I was amazed to discover in the author's note that the main building block of the plot, and the most unbelievable element, was inspired by actual facts. There really was once a kind of secret society of priest-profilers or priest detectives who sometimes helped the authorities hunt down murderers. These shadowy figures infuse the novel with a unique sense of mystery.
The story culminates in a wild irony that tantalizes the reader with the yin-yang of good and evil. Along the way we meet a lot of very interesting women and men, who in turn are confronted with their own moral dilemmas.
The novel is not just a police procedural, or a forensic thriller, or a psychological thriller – but rather all those things happening simultaneously.
I finished the book in some uncertainty as to whether I got every twist and turn, but I got enough to enjoy the book thoroughly.