From the September, 2014 issue:
When the journalism assignment for his summer academic program at the Univer- sity of Missouri proves to be nothing more than a few fluff pieces, seventeen-year- old Sherman decides to do some snooping of his own in the library and discovers what appears to be a minor scandal and unsolved death from 1935 involving a now-disappeared minister. Sherman’s search for more information draws attention from a mysterious society, and he suddenly finds himself at knifepoint—twice—and being shot at. Determined to figure out who’s trying to kill him, Sherman finds a wrongfully institutionalized psychiatric patient who helps him decipher the links between a number of killings spanning from the 1830s through the 1970s that all center on one name—P. Saberhagen—and an enigmatic insignia. Aided by the student librarian Christine, nicknamed Charlie (who Sherman finds seriously cute), Sherman discovers that Saberhagen made a deal that grants his immortality, for a price . . . and he wants Sherman in on it, one way or another. Katcher, author of Almost Perfect (BCCB 1/10), captures the flawed but honest voice of a guy who’s driven to succeed in his career—and with a girl—and finds himself in over his head; plenty of pop culture references, hubris, and hormones add authenticity. The breathtaking pace is balanced with flashbacks to the minister and his posse’s parallel investigation of Saberhagen, and though the shift to supernatural (and even Christian mystic) elements in the thriller is a little abrupt, it’s not unpleasant. Romance? Check. Comedy? Sure. Overall, though, this is a grittier (and slimmer) contemporary version of Bray’s The Diviners (BCCB 10/12), giving it reluctant reader appeal for the Stephen King crowd.