First novelist Kanaly alternates a gruesome tale of two hunters, a serial killer of young girls pursued by a licensed vigilante, with vignettes of life on other planets, and God's diary entries considering the experiments he's set in motion and their implications for good and evil. While the concept of God's diary is interesting, the serial killer portions only offer a predictable thriller. A marginal purchase.
Under the Vigilante Laws, rich crime victims can pay operatives to track down and arrest criminals that elude the police. So when 12-year-old Yvonne Stafford vanishes, grabbed by schizophrenic lowlife Arnie Watts, a serial abductor, rapist, and murderer of children, her grieving parents call in ex-General Dennison York and his team. But as the net closes, Arnie's "voices" alert him to the danger. Just as the police find Yvonne, barely alive, Arnie surprises electronics whiz Ronnie Bates in York's surveillance van, kills him, and disappears. Meantime, as a postscript to each chapter, various other civilizations throughout the universe live, die, and develop attitudes toward their gods. Observing these, God ponders His great experiment in implanting "spiritual entities" (souls) inside "mechanisms" (bodies), concluding that Evil may be an external force actively preventing the spiritual growth of the implanted entities. And mad, bad Arnie? Well, eventually he'll grab one victim too many, get his worldly comeuppance, and thence be banished to Hell.
Kanaly writes a strong, vigorous prose, but throws suspense out of the windowwe always know where Arnie is and how close his pursuers are; the remainder, featuring God as a dim-witted, sophomoric sociologist, won't wash with many readers. All in all, an oddball debut.