On December 4, 1968, world-famous theologian Father Louis Merton visited the ancient Dead City of Polonnaruwa, Ceylon, entered the Cave of the Spirits of Knowledge, and experienced a vision. It's claimed he found a backdoor to the Afterlife, that he looked into the Mind of God and escaped with a secret so powerful it could change all humanity...bring wars to a standstill...end forever the age-old hatreds between races, creeds and cultures.
Six days later as Merton prepared to announce his discovery at a religious conference, he suffered a horrific death under mysterious circumstances. But the secret did not die with him. Merton left behind a journal...
Years later, beautiful psychologist Angela Weber and her troubled fiancé, Ian Baringer, are on the hunt for Merton's long-lost journal and its door to the Afterlife. Angela, an agnostic, wants to help Ian heal the wounds of a traumatic childhood plane crash that took the lives of his parents. Ian, a defrocked priest, no longer trusts in religion's promise of eternal life. He must know for certain if he will ever see his parents again, and is driven to find out firsthand what lies beyond, and what it holds for mankind.
Together, Angela and Ian plunge headlong into a global chase, pursued by a shadowy cult, dead bodies and destruction in their wake. If Ian and Angela succeed, they will defy the gates of heaven and hell to learn a secret hidden from the world since the dawn of time . . .
The Knowledge of Good&Evil.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
|Publisher:||Tom Doherty Associates|
|File size:||3 MB|
About the Author
Glenn Kleier is the former co-founder and president of a national marketing and communications firm who now pursues his passion for writing full-time. He is the author of the internationally acclaimed thriller, The Last Day. He makes his home in Louisville, Kentucky.
Glenn Kleier is the former co-founder and president of a national marketing and communications firm who now pursues his passion for writing full-time. He is the author of the internationally acclaimed thriller, The Last Day. He makes his home in Louisville, Kentucky.
Read an Excerpt
The Near Future
CBS AFFILIATE, CHANNEL 6 TV, LOS ANGELES, MORNING
Grinning, Charles Dunn bustled into the little screening room, clicking on lights with a remote, feeling like he’d just won the Super Lotto. He checked his Rolex. Angela would be here soon, always punctual as a church bell.
He lumbered down to the center row, shuffled to a seat, and plopped, smoothing his suit. Next week, the diet, he vowed. Impossible now with winter production racing to a close. He’d been gulping coffee and donuts for hours to keep his energy. Insane business, this, creating local TV programs to compete with national broadcast and cable—and at a fraction the budget. Living Nielsen-to-Nielsen not knowing if the shows you’d birthed and nurtured lovingly as a parent would endure.
But it was moments like the one pending that made all the heartburn worth it. Charles had spoken to the home network in New York this morning, and he had incredible news for Angela. She’d no clue what awaited, joining him here simply to preview new footage for their series.
“And to think,” he sighed, running a hand through his thinning hair, “I nearly let her slip through my fingers…”
It was scarcely a year ago that Angela had come to his attention, a talk show host for an obscure LA radio station at the time. Just another tongue clamoring to be heard on the crowded, late-night airwaves. Charles always kept an ear cocked for radio shows with TV potential, and he’d heard buzz about a new program catching on with area college students—often a bellwether of the next hot thing.
But tuning in, he’d quickly tuned out. Probing the Paranormal. A weekly news-type format investigating things supernatural. Ghosts, clairvoyants, mediums, and such. Old hat. Cable TV had been working that shtick for years with lukewarm success.
Nor was he that impressed with Angela, first blush. Fresh out of grad school, his sources told him, PhD in psychology, no previous broadcast experience. Hardly a springboard to TV. Not that she wasn’t talented. A silky, arresting voice. And clever the way she applied science and reason to topics seldom handled intelligently. But too much science and reason. More PBS than CBS.
“Damn, did I whiff that one!”
Two months later he was kicking himself in his big, professional ass. Driving to work one morning, glancing out his window at a billboard, he did such a double take he nearly pulled a muscle in his neck. Towering before him, the image of a stunning young woman with dark hair, arms folded, leaning against the call letters of her radio station. Bold words proclaimed:
LA’s #1 Late-Nite Talk Show!
PROBING the PARANORMAL
with Dr. Angela Weber
He’d almost skidded off the road. Grabbing his cell, he’d arranged a hasty meeting, only to confirm how wrong his first impression had been. Angela was amazing. Poised, personable, quick-witted. And uncommonly attractive. Large, hazel-green eyes that changed like a kaleidoscope with her mood—light when she laughed, dark when serious. Charles knew screen presence when he saw it.
Of course by then other producers were circling, too, and he had to pay top dollar and make tough concessions to get her. Granting her creative control of the show, allowing her to pick her own cohost—
He was interrupted by the sound of the door. Turning, he saw a lithe figure in a dark dress suit glissading down the steps toward him, walnut hair shimmering and bouncing on shoulders square as a carpenter’s level. Oval face. Ivory skin. Intelligent brow.
But her smile was just a brief flash today, eyes dark.
No matter. Once she heard, he’d have her beaming …
* * *
Angela felt swallowed up in Charles’s bearish arms, his trim, red beard scratching her cheek. As a rule, she didn’t like the “Hollywood hug,” but Charles she didn’t mind. He’d been wonderful to her and Ian as they’d plunged into this mind-boggling business. Seasoned and wise.
His deep voice rumbled in her ear, “Ready for Ian’s solo debut?”
She hesitated, pulling back. “When he called last night, he mentioned they’d had problems. Didn’t go into it, he says the video will speak for itself.”
Charles motioned her to a seat.
It wasn’t Ian’s video that worried her. Over the course of their season he’d sharpened his investigative skills, able now to cut through the knottiest paranormal puzzle on his own. It was the way he’d jumped on this East Coast case despite her objections, despite having ample material here at home—just none that suited his tastes. It hurt that she couldn’t talk him out of it, that her refusal to join him didn’t matter. He’d even stayed on to do the editing, sending ahead the finished MPEG.
Charles clicked a remote to dim the lights, and the screen below came to life. Angela found herself wishing Ian’s video would fail. And felt miserable for it.
A five-second countdown, then a tall, athletically slim man appeared on-screen in the light of flood lamps, standing in front of a Cape Cod–style home, patches of dirty snow dotting the yard. Handsome in a navy-blue cashmere topcoat, puffs of breath escaping into the night. Angela’s heart kicked the way it always did when they’d been separated for a time.
The camera zoomed in to reveal vivid blue eyes. So serious. Little clue to the warmth she knew lay beneath. Dark hair neatly combed, a few unruly locks flittering like pennants in the breeze. She wanted to reach out and smooth them. A font on the screen read:
PTP Investigator, Ian Baringer
He gave that little smile of his and gestured toward the house, a hint of boyishness in his bearing. That strange, innocent quality Angela had noticed first time she’d laid eyes on him five years ago. As if he’d been plucked out of some quaint, bygone era, still adjusting to the twenty-first century. Which, in many ways, was true.
“The Devil’s Due,” he announced his episode, refined northeastern accent filling the theater. Her heart quickened.
The scene cut to daytime footage, same house, a middle-age man shoveling the walkway. Ian continued, “This is Mr. Andrew Kavoski. Accountant, husband of Bernice Kavoski, father of two children away in college.”
The view widened to take in a heavyset woman with heavily coiffed brown hair, bringing Andrew a hot drink.
“Andrew starts each week a normal, healthy, typical resident of suburban Hackensack, New Jersey … But on the seventh day of each week, the Lord’s Day, Andrew transforms like Jekyll and Hyde into this manic creature—”
Abruptly the video cut to a scene of the same man, almost unrecognizable, strapped to a bed, writhing, growling. Angela drew her legs under her seat.
“Victim of a severe, if passing, psychosis, Andrew has endured seizures like this every Sunday for months. Medical experts were at a loss to help, unable even to diagnose his condition.”
The video switched to shots of a church.
“It seems the onset of his ailment coincided with the end of an affair he was having. His liaisons had taken place in this church basement each Sunday while he was supposed to be at Mass.”
Angela glanced at Charles to see a smile on his lips.
“Andrew was finally caught in the act by his wife”—the view cut to a scene of Bernice being consoled by her pastor—“and a week later, Andrew’s strange affliction began. That Sunday morning, about the time he usually left for Mass, he suffered a seizure. Bernice called her brother, a neurologist living nearby, who rushed to their aid.”
The image of a burly, fiftyish man in a white coat came up on-screen, along with shots of Andrew undergoing a physical and brain scans.
“Andrew was hospitalized in his brother-in-law’s care, but after tests, there seemed no explanation for his attack. He recovered quickly, however, without complications, and was discharged. Only to suffer another seizure the following Sunday—and again every Sunday thereafter.
“When more tests and treatments yielded no answers, Andrew—and most of his church parish—came to believe he was the victim of demonic possession. His pastor put him in touch with a priest experienced in such matters.”
Angela saw the photo of a smiling, avuncular, gray-haired man in dark shirt with reverse collar.
“Father Peter Riggs and I have been friends for years, and with the Kavoskis’ permission, he invited me to document the event. But sadly, the exorcism did not go well.”
Jerky video ricocheted around the screen—Andrew, crazed and loose from an armstrap, attacking Father Pete with a bloodied shard of glass. Angela shrank in her seat, shocked. Never had their shows displayed such violence. She was even more appalled to see Ian take on the psychotic Kavoski, wrestling him back into his bindings.
“Whoa!” Charles gushed. “Viewers will eat this up!”
The melee ended and Ian’s face materialized on-screen.
“Fortunately, Father’s injuries weren’t serious. He’s expected to make a full recovery. And despite the setback, this story has a happy ending. Inspecting the room after the attack, I discovered something. Though I’d carefully supervised the breakfast Andrew was served in bed that day, I’d overlooked a salt shaker he’d used to season his eggs.”
Impressed, Angela saw video of a medical research facility with technicians examining liquids in vials.
“Lab analysis revealed a foreign substance in the salt—phencyclidine—an animal medication. Also known by the street name ‘angel dust,’ phencyclidine causes hallucinations and psychosis in humans…”
The camera cornered a shamefaced Mrs. Kavoski.
“Bernice is a veterinarian’s assistant, and confronted with the evidence, she confessed to spiking the salt. Her brother was in on it, falsifying Andrew’s medical tests. Bernice’s motive was to punish her husband while saving face, wanting her neighbors to think his infidelity the work of the Devil, not their failing marriage. Her plan was to teach Andrew a lesson, then ‘cure’ him with an exorcism. In the end, the only demons she exposed were her own…”
Ian appeared once more in front of the house.
“I’m pleased to report, Andrew is now symptom-free, and he and his wife are in counseling. He’s declined to press charges against his brother-in-law…”
The video ended, the lights came up, and Angela sat back. She could hear that little voice again, nagging about the way Ian’s choice of topics was slanting the show.
But Charles’s focus was ratings. “Great stuff! Except, no more splitting the team. I like the sparks you two throw off.” He grinned. “We’re gonna need those male demos you pull—now that we’re expanding to new markets!”
Angela blinked. “Syndication? So soon?”
His broad face glowed. “Syndication, hell. The network’s taken notice, and they like what they see. They’re flyin’ in end of the month to talk national rollout.”
Stunned, all she could do was gape at him.
“Not a done deal, of course. But when the brass come to you, it’s a damn good sign.”
His cell phone went off and he fished it from a pocket. Angela recognized his secretary’s face on its screen.
“Your ten o’clock is here.”
“I’m on my way.” He hung up, looking at Angela. “Ian gets in tonight?”
“Yes.” She was still reeling.
“Well, don’t stay out late celebrating. I’ve got you two meeting with those picketers tomorrow, first thing…”
A small, if vocal, group of demonstrators had been protesting their show the last several weeks.
“Can’t have that crap while the network’s here. Work your charms on those kooks, get rid of ’em.”
That little voice in her head rose another decibel.
Copyright © 2011 by Glenn Kleier
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ian is a complicated guy: He is in love with the extraordinarily beautiful and smart Angela, is studying Near Death Experiences and trying to rescue his beloved parents from Hell after they saved his life when they were in a car accident together. Author Glenn Kleier has given people who enjoy tense thrillers a reason to celebrate... The Knowledge of Good And Evil is imaginative, taught, tense and enough narrow escapes just to keep it real. Angela is the type of heroine we all love: she is bright, smart, listens to her own, interior panic button and saves Ian more than once from heading into straight folly. I'm not sure a book exactly like this has ever been attempted before. For one thing, the reader gets about 30 prompts to a web page to show the readers a particular painting or a scientist in the world of certain esoteric sciences. The reader doesn't have to wonder why a special church in Europe is so distinct.... instead of wasting 2 pages on trying to describe it, Kleier just takes the reader to a special website that has all the photographs on it. This gave the book extraordinary depth. Even though I tend to gravitate to literary novels and have recently been on a tear reading very old novels, The Knowledge of Good And Evil was a fun break from the more formal books and go on an old-fashoined (dangerous) treasure hunt that takes us all over this world and into others.
Having read Glenn Kleier's first novel THE LAST DAY and loved it, I've been impatiently anticipating THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD & EVIL. I was thrilled to get an advance readers' copy and read it almost nonstop over the weekend. It's an extraordinary book. I simply could not put it down. Like THE LAST DAY it explores the dark side of spirituality and religion and is bolstered by fascinating research (and some amazing photos). And like THE LAST DAY, the book appears to be causing a stink (see the Publisher's Weekly review above, and some of the angry reader reviews here--yes, religion is a polarizing subject!). It's the story of a man who is obsessed with learning the truth about "the other side." Does it really exist? And if so, what does it hold for us when we die? The man, an ex-priest, was traumatized as a boy watching his parents lose their lives to rescue him from a terrible accident. He is broken spiritually and psychologically, and seems beyond the help of the beautiful woman who is both his psychiatrist and lover. He has to know if he will ever see his parents again, as his religion has always told him. But his religion has also let him down badly and he no longer trusts its promises. He must find the truth for himself, and he discovers a diabolical way to do it. It does not lead him to the answers he expects. It takes him on a harrowing and thought-provoking journey you will not soon forget. I won't spoil the fun by revealing more. This is a terrific, fast-paced story, and at times the suspense is almost unbearable. It is one of the few books I've read where I could never second guess what was going to happen next, and I had no idea how it would end. The ending came as a complete surprise, and it totally worked. It left me reeling and with a lot to think about. If you read this, set aside some time, you will not want stop. I cannot say enough about how different and engrossing the book is. Get it, read it, enjoy.
Kleier kept me on the edge of my seat to the last page of this book. One of the few thrillers that taught me so much as I went. The research is awesome, it fits smoothly into the story and gives reality to the fiction. Mindbending finale that is not to be missed. If you have strong religious sensitivities you may want to stay away. But if you have an open mind and enjoy a rivetting, totally unpredictable plot with frights and thirlls, you will love this story. A book that goes on my permanent shelf. I will read it again. P.S. Kleier's first book is The Last Day and it is equally exciting and worthwhile. Highly recommend both and can't wait for next book.
I was caught up in the story from the first chapter to the last. It is the best thriller I've read in many a year and I will read it again. If you're looking for something that will capture your imagination and make you really think deep, this will do it. Give yourself three uninterrupted days because you wont put it down. Wonderful!
Another fast paced, though provoking, action packed thriller from this author!Back to the Bible, and of course the Vatican for source material, add a daring, and dashing young ex-priest with a pure heart and a crisis of faith and you have an idea about what this book in about. Ian Baringer made a name for himself when he was still a priest by performing an act of heroism, and saving lives. Despite the acclaim heaped upon him by the church, he still struggled. Having lost his parents in a tragedy that could well have taken his life as well, he longed to see them again. He left the church and began a quest to find a way into the afterlife. His research and personal experiences convinced him that only by experiencing a NDE, near death experience, could he find them. They had lost their lives protecting him, saving his life. He felt that it was impossible to go on with his own life, until he did all that he could to thank them, even traveling beyond death itself. Angela was not only a co-worker, but his fiancee. They made up a paranormal investigating team for a popular television show. This and his own personal wealth gave him the tools he needed on his quest to journey beyond physical death. He had an ingrained goodness and belief in miracles, and Angela was a skeptic. This gave balance to his mission, and to his life. Then things got even more interesting. Friends in high places were able to help him, even as others were trying to take his life away for good. Are there some secrets that should never be revealed?
The first time I heard about this book is when author, Glenn Kleier e-mailed me about it. I read the synopsis and watch the very greatly made book trailer and I couldn't wait to read it. So I am really excited when I received this book for review. It has all the element that I am looking for in a book at the moment. Suspense, conspiracy, doubts/questions about religion, faith and after life, murder, adventure and photos for reference. The later part was not in the book the files are too large, so you have to go to Kleier's site to check them out. I was worried that it would be one of those Da Vinci code wanna be, sure same concept but I like this book much better. The seeker of the Ultimate Reality, Ian Baringer is quite scary and borderline insane for the methods that he used to have a glimpse of the other side. Do you watch Supernatural? Dean did the same insane procedure (sort of) so he can communicate with Death. But anyway, I was really excited to find out what is going to happen next, and if Angela will support this idea. I wanted to find out Ian's account about Near Death Experience (NDE), the afterlife itself and the consequences it would take to prove that God exist. I've always have my own questions and theories about the whole thing (God, religion, death, heaven and hell) and with the death of a friend 3 months ago, the thought of it got stronger, especially when my mother-in-law had a disturbing dream about where he is. All religious mystery, suspense thriller have a pre-requisite; aside from a world changing revelation and church secrets, a book like this must have a religious zealot. It is not right that they are not there to infuriate me with their twisted ideas and self righteousness while they try to kill the hero. The Knowledge of Good & Evil was wonderfully written and immensely entertaining. Action-packed and mysterious with a great ending. If you are a fan of Robert Langdon, Tom Harris, Paul Sullivan and other conspiracy, religious-thriller heroes, you should check out this book. It would be a great addition for your collection.
I simply can't say enough how amazing this book was! A faced paced thriller through and through, the action continues at an alarming clip until the big pay-off at the end. Sounds like a lot of the best books I've ever read, but this one had something different. It was not just stimulating as a fast read, but intellectually gripping. The Author doesn't preach, but calls into question a number of philosophical and theological questions cleverly meshed into the plot. So often you'll have to pry yourself from the book to address these questions from your own perspective. It makes you think! How often does a suspense thriller make you think? Furthermore, the entire story is interwoven with real history. From Nazi intrigue in Prague to Renaissance Art and Medieval Necromancy, this clever incorporation of actual history only serves to grip you more. i have to recommend this to any fan of thrillers, this must be the best one I've read in 15 years.
I've sat down to write this review many times, but have never been able to find the words to describe how it affected me. Finally I just decided to go for it and say what's in my heart. I'm not a religious person - I'm more of a spiritual one - but this book was amazing! It questions dogma but at the same time shows how absolute faith, even when considered to be insanity by outsiders, can be its own reward. Ian Barringer and his fiance Angela Weber run a television show that explores supernatural mysteries and generally uncovers that they are fakes in some way. Angela is a skeptic, but Ian - a former priest - is a true believer and intensely (one could almost say obsessively) focused on uncovering the truth of what lies beyond death, what happens in the afterlife. He believes there is a way to see what is in the afterlife and come back from it. First he tries intense meditation, but when that doesn't work he goes one step farther, and has himself flat-lined under medical supervision. What he experiences is amazing. A major part of the plot is also his seeking for the missing journal of Father Lewis Merton, who claimed to have visited the afterlife and returned with knowledge that would change the world. However, he died before he could announce his discovery. Ian follows in the footsteps of Merton's last journey trying to discover the missing journal. However, this all threatens the structure of the Catholic church; if people knew what happened after death, there would be no more faith and no need for churches. A top-secret branch of the Vatican, containing deadly assassins, is after Ian in order to stop him before he finds Merton's truth. This is a fast-paced story, lots of action and suspense, and add the ideas contained in this novel on top and it's like the best icing on the best cake ever. PLEASE don't miss a chance to read this book - you will not regret it!
Ian Baringer may have stumbled upon the greatest discovery of all time. Or possibly, the greatest curse . . . As a child, Ian lost his parents in a horrific accident, seeing them give their lives to save his. He never fully recovered, burying pangs of guilt, clinging to religion's promise that someday he'd see his parents again. But now years later his demons have resurfaced. Despite the help of Angela Weber, the brilliant psychologist who loves him, he's in the grips of an obsession. He no longer trusts in an afterlife, he must know for certain that the soul survives death. And incredibly, he may have found a way. A risky means to steal across death's threshold and, if all goes as planned, to return with Knowledge of a Great Beyond. Knowledge that can be verified by anyone willing to follow his footsteps. The implications are staggering. Proof of a hereafter! Perhaps of God, Himself! A Knowledge to halt wars, to end forever the ancient animosities between Faiths! Or perhaps a Knowledge to doom us all . . . There are some who believe the living are not meant to know such things. A brotherhood sworn to protect death's secrets all costs. It will pursue Ian and Angela to the ends of the earth to stop them. And if Ian and Angela can survive, they'll defy the gates of heaven and hell to bring back a Knowledge hidden from the world since the dawn of creation.
At the 75% mark I simply could not put this book down. It has the most gripping, harrowing climax I have ever read. I finished out of breath and dying for this man's next work. Ten stars!
EXCELLENT novel. I have waited for years for another book by Glenn Kleier. Well worth it!!
This book is thrilling. That’s the best word I can find to describe it. From the moment it starts to the moment it ends, the reader is kept at the edge of his or her chair, breathless to see what happens next. There is an intelligence to the plot that is lacking from a lot of the books that share a similar style. It is tempting to think of Dan Brown when we think of a thriller with a plot immersed in spirituality, but this book far surpasses the clichéd storied we’ve come to expect in this genre. What surprised me the most was the character development. That is not something that I had expected from a book that seemed to be plot-driven more than character-driven. I was glad to find that I had assumed wrong. Ian is a rich, complex character, well-crafted, with an obsessive streak that is a great contrast to Angela’s cooler, more analytical personality. The writing itself is wonderful. The author does a great job with the pacing, which can sometimes ruin a book like this. It’s always either too fast, where the characters know everything, or molasses slow where nothing but dialogue happens for chapters on end. This book has a nice balance, which made it a pleasure to read.
All the other very positive reviews of this book says it as it is - so I won't repeat the sentiment, just fully agree with them. I will say this though - when I found myself deep in the story, I was taken on journey to those dark places only given respect by Dante - that was until The Knowledge of Good & Evil came along - well done Glenn Kleier, a masterful piece, and a modern book for modern fears and aspirations.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011"The Knowledge of Good & Evil" By Glenn Kleier WOW! What a great read this was. It was suspenseful, exciting, and spiritual. A man loses his parents in a horrible accident and he vows, with the help of his love interest, Angela, to try and solve one of life's mysteries...to see if the soul does survive death. Ian wants to see his parents again and the steps he takes to try and do this are riveting. There is alot of danger on the road that Ian and Angela take to accomplish this task, plus Angela has her doubts as well. There is a group called the Ordo Arda Christi, who want Ian stopped, because if he is successful, and word gets out, it could be devastating to the Church. By use of NDE ( near death experience), Ian plans on traveling and finding the " Final Reality". Find a comfortable chair and take the trip with Ian.
Survivor guilt though he was only a child when his parents' died in a tragic plane crash years ago, Ian Baringer has spent the next couple of decades trying to contact them. Currently the former priest skeptically believes in the afterlife though his hope is weakening with years of failure to achieve his obsession. He works on the talk show Probing the Paranormal as an investigator while his lover agnostic psychiatrist Dr. Angela Weber is the show's host. Finally reaching a breaking point where he needs to know either way, the OCD Ian decides to prove the soul survives the body dying by experiencing a near death incident. A shocked Angela who loves the troubled Ian pleads with him to no avail. Determined, he will prove the theory either way, but soon finds the secretive Ordo Arma Christi brothers want him dead before he conducts the experiment as this Order believe they must prevent Ian from biting the apple. This thought provoking exhilarating thriller asks many questions about religious dogma, but is not limited to the afterlife as Glenn Kleier questions contradictions for instance between free will and forbidden fruits of knowledge. Ian is the key to the plot, as he suffers from survivor induced obsessive compulsive behavior that has worsened in reaction to his beliefs shrinking. Angelia is a loyal wonderful person who refuses to give up on the man she loves although she fears he is losing his mind to his obsession. The story line is fast-paced as the lead pair abruptly finds themselves being hunted by a cell who rejects the concept that man has the right to know anything about the afterlife. Harriet Klausner
I was really moved by this book. The action and storyline were fast paced and engaging and the clever way the author weaved real life locations, people and works of art really brought it to life for me. This was a story that made me want to pause the rest of life to complete it. When I was accomplishing day-to-day tasks between chapters I was thinking about the book. The travel to different locations at such an incredible speed made my head spin, and I enjoyed when the author took the time to describe them (ie Ireland and the Alps) because that made them more real. Some of the religious connotations and rites were lost on me and I fear I could never argue theology with the author (plus that may land me in the third realm of hell, anyway ;) but the story moved well without having to stop and research these to understand it. The simplicity and tact the author used to unveil his story made it engaging without being confusing. I wholeheartedly agree with the Knowledge of Good and that made some of the more fantastical elements of this story believable. Some of the netherworld travel was hard to picture but I was properly impressed/horrified by the depictions. I felt elated at the end of the book and thought about it long after. Overall the sense of Hope and Faith came through well in the story. Some of the clever touches and nods to the author's personal feelings/questions about religion in general made me laugh out loud. As did a few of the lines of dialogue. The only critiques are the character development (they seemed, at times, like pawns to further the story) and I wish they were a little more fully delved into because I was interested in them. At times the two main characters really came to life and I wanted that sense the whole way through the book. But looking back now the only things I can recall about them are the instances in their life that formed them and not any specific picture of them (except that Angela was hot and svelte.) The secondary characters were even less formed. This didn't detract from the story because I was totally absorbed in it but would have added more, I think. Also, the coincidence of Angela just happening to know Karl Barth's granddaughter and some of the other little coincidences kind of made me go, wait, what? Overall I would definitely recommend this book to a serious reader. Especially one that is questioning religion and how it can fit into everyone's life when their are so many diversities separating and spawning hatred in the world. Entertaining, smart, not preachy despite its obvious religious tones, fast-paced and you will be thinking about parts of this story long after you put it down.
The best read of the decade. No exaggeration. The BEST. Thrilling, provocative, riveting with a powerful message.
The Knowledge of Good & Evil - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds 'He stared into his empty glass, unsure where to begin or how much to reveal. He didn't want to frighten them into paralysis, but he couldn't mislead them. The sad part was, despite his best efforts to hide and protect them, their odds of survival were next to none. Meeting their anxious eyes, he began, "I don't know if what you do is sinful or not, these experiments of yours with Death and Hell. I'm a soldier, not a theologian, I leave the moral calls to God. But there are some who see such things as grave violations of God's Will. And unfortunately, they take it upon themselves to intervene." Ian nodded. "The man with the tattoo was a religious extremist. Do you know who he was?" "Not who. What. I must ask your oath not to repeat what I tell you." They gave their words. "This tattoo, it's the symbol of a very old sect. A brotherhood of militants cast off from the Church centuries ago, known as Ordo Arma Christi." Ian translated, "The Order of the Weapon of Christ." "Yes. Christ's Weapon. Ordo Arma Christi dates to medieval times. There's virtually no history of it outside the Bibliotheca Secreta -" he clarified for Angela, "-the Vatican Secret Archives. And once you hear its checkered past, you'll see why the Church keeps silent." Dr. Angela Weber and former priest Ian Baringer make up the team for L.A.'s #1 Late-Nite Talk Show Probing the Paranormal. If there appears a mystery, they investigate and solve it. Angela and Ian have been lovers since he left the priesthood, but due to information acquired regarding the death of his parents, Ian has decided he must go back and set his mind and heart straight regarding his beliefs. He proposes to Angela and promises that when he returns he will be a completely new and level headed man. Nothing could make Angela happier, but her dreams are put on hold after receiving information as to what Ian is really doing. It appears that Ian has tracked information regarding Near Death Experiences (NDEs) which will allow him to step into the depths of hell to rescue his parents. Their sin? Ian can only surmise that when they wrapped themselves around his 9 year old body to prevent him from burning in the wreck that took their lives, God judged it suicide . . . Following Ian as he proceeds with his self-inflicted NDEs will bring a few questions to your mind, at least it did mine. Are these events real or is it the mind playing tricks on the mind? Science will give us one answer, but religion may have another. Is there one TRUE religion or do all of them hold truth? The answers to these questions and many more are answered with double answers. One answer is the way Ian sees it through his NDEs. The other answer is the way Angela sees it through science. You be the judge of what is true.
If you are a conspiracy theorist then this is definitely a book you want to read. Mix Dan Brown with the movies Flatliners and Brainstorm and this is what you get. Decent action, nice mixing of true life and fiction and was not a bad way to spend an afternoon in the sun.
Another fast paced, though provoking, action packed thriller from Glenn Kleier! Back to the Bible, and of course the Vatican for source material, add a daring, and dashingyoung ex-priest with a pure heart and a crisis of faith and you have an idea about what this book in about. Ian Baringer made a name for himself when he was still a priest by performing an act of heroism, and saving lives. Despite the acclaim heaped upon him by the church, he still struggled. Having lost his parents in a tragedy that could well have taken his life as well, he longed to see them again. He left the church and began a quest to find a way into the afterlife. His research and personal experiences convinced him that onlyby experiencing a NDE, near death experience, could he find them. They had lost their lives protecting him, saving his life. He felt that it was impossible to go on with his own life, until he did all that he could to thank them, even traveling beyond death itself. Angela was not only a co-worker, but his fiancee. They made up a paranormal investigating team for a popular television show. This and his own personal wealth gave him the tools he needed onhis quest to journey beyond physical death. He had an ingrained goodness and belief in miracles, andAngela was a skeptic. This gave balance to his mission, and to his life. Then things got even more interesting. Friends in high places were able to help him, even as others were trying to take his life away for good. Are there some secrets that should never be revealed?
Ian Baringer has had a difficult life. He lost his parents at a young age and never got over their deaths. As a young man he joined the priesthood looking for answers and after many trials and tribulations he decided to leave. Now in love with Angela, he feels like his world is falling apart all over again. In an effort to regain his life he heads to a monastary to find answers. While there he learns of a monk who gained access to heaven through a "backdoor." Fascinated by meeting his parents again and gaining the knowledge that will change the way the world thinks about God, he proceeds on a dangerous mission. Once it is learned what Ian is attempting, a secret order of assassins try to end Ian's journey to find the knowledge he seeks. Ian and Angela put everything on the line to try to find Ian's answers while trying to stay alive. A great read that makes you think about really is important in life and faith.
A Thrilling Search for Knowledge Those who¿ve read Glenn Kleier¿s spiritual fiction novel, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, seem to agree: a fast moving page burner-well written, thrilling, easy and entertaining to read. Me too. This is a fun book to read; well¿ the graphic descriptions of the various levels of hell were not fun-rather nauseating to me personally, but I¿m sure the author meant them to be so. The story was polished to an irresistible sheen. I would not be surprised in the least if The Knowledge of Good and Evil movie was to appear at a theatre near me at any time soon. The writing is perfected to the point where it¿s difficult to imagine what would be left for a screenwriter to do. Kleier moves the reader into and out of the chapters so deftly that one gets the feeling that the commercial break is coming up. That being so, I would like to discuss the novel on its merits as a literary work. Because I do think it has merit in that way also. At the same time, I can¿t help but feel that the thriller aspect of the story took some precedence over that of genuine spiritual exploration. That¿s alright; the spiritual exploration is still included. A premise of the novel is that if a human being could discover the knowledge of good and evil, as put forth in the Christian Bible, and that knowledge was then made available to the citizens of the world, that it would put an end to strife in the world. Wars would cease and the highest of priorities would be prevalent among all: ¿Bring wars to a standstill. End forever the age-old hatreds between races, creeds, and cultures.¿ This I thought a bit naïve on the part of the protagonist, Ian, as well as for the late Father Merton, author of The Ultimate Reality, a highly prized (reality based) document telling of Merton¿s death-like experience of the heavens, so zealously sought by Ian. Ian and his often reluctant fiancé, Angela, leave no stone unturned trying to gain access to this knowledge, not only through the possession of The Reality, but through a number of remarkable and extremely dangerous methods. I don¿t really believe that Glenn Kleier would have held out such hope for the magical reformation of humanity due to the presence of such information. After all, Beings with experience of Life beyond these earthly lives have been coming to the people since the beginning of time and humanity has yet to respond en masse to their messages. There are, however, some wonderfully expressive scenes as well, where the question of good and evil is brought to a poignant level of sincerity. One of my favorite themes is that of the soul¿s confusion about the ambiguous nature of God¿s communication with man, His behavioral requirements from man. As expressed by certain souls that Ian has come into contact with on the banks of The River Styx in Hell: ¿St. Thomas himself had doubts! An apostle who Knew Christ personally. Who received the Word directly. Still, he had to touch Christ¿s wounds to Believe! And here are we, two thousand years removed, nothing to go on but a book of ambiguous, secondhand Scripture?¿ and again: ¿Which Faith? Ten thousand religions in the world, each claiming to be right! How were we to Know?¿ On the question of the punishment fitting the crime-a direct recrimination of God: ¿What mind could conceive such horror?¿ and: ¿Why is God so aloof¿ I enjoyed the revelations that Ian had in his journey to Heaven-that one¿s religious background, beliefs, disbeliefs, or the practice of any particular rites and rituals, etc. were irrelevant to the ascension of the soul. There was an obvious attempt by the author to express tolerance for and an opinion of validity toward all, provided humanitarianism was at the core. I did however find the author at odds with himself in that regard, though, when it came to the level at which Christ was perceived, in comparison to the other enlightened Beings Who have manifested upon the earth:
I am 67 years old, been reading since I was 6. This is easily the best book I have ever read (5 times), previously I had read 7 times and thought Gone With the Wind was the best book I had ever read. Well, I was wrong. Could not put this book down. Thank you Mr Kleier for a wonderful read. Cannot imagine another book that will hold my interest like this one.