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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
We must be aware of the deceptive methods cults use," warns Darian North, author of Criminal Seduction, Bone Deep, and now Thief of Souls, a chilling new thriller that attempts to disentangle the web of deception cast by cults over unwitting victims. North diligently researched this sensitive and timely subject and came away with poignant, firsthand accounts of the power that cults wield over their followers, and the residue that clings to members who attempt to escape. "In addition to talking with deprogrammers, exit counselors, and experts in the field," writes North, "I spent a lot of time talking to cult victims — the ex-members who are out there trying to overcome the trauma and put their lives back together. All of them were frightened of retribution but willing to share their horror stories in the hope that it might help others."
Out of this extensive interviewing comes Thief of Souls. North's third novel involves the Behr family, frighteningly similar to any ordinary family on the block. Dan Behr considers himself fortunate, with a beautiful wife and an adorable young daughter. Life seems almost perfect, and Dan thinks little of the spiritual group meetings that his wife Alexandra has been casually attending — until one day she does not return from a weekend retreat, and inexplicably vanishes from the life she knew and the family she loved.
Dan Behr is devastated, determined to get his wife back but defenseless against the complicated legal and residential blockades that the religious cult has erected around itself. After swallowing his wife,thecult has made it next to impossible to trace her whereabouts. Then, just as Dan begins to recover from the grief of Alexandra's loss, someone reaches out and snatches Hana, the Behr's six-year-old daughter, and the stage is set for a harrowing, panicked nightmare. Suspecting the cult, Dan Behr has to find a way inside the seemingly impenetrable barriers of the religious radicals, and once inside, resist the tremendously alluring methods of seduction and brain-washing that so many others have succumbed to before him, submitting themselves to manipulative physical and psychological abuse.
In my book," writes the author, "I try to take readers into that netherworld and make them feel the seduction of a cult." Indeed, on the eve of a new millennium, when the actions of separatists and cult members have captured the attention of the media and the minds of the public, Darian North delivers a thriller all the more chilling because of how alarmingly it rings all too true.