Monday, August 22, 2011

Wentworth M. Johnson's Lions and Christians

Lions and Christians is the fifth installment in Wentworth M. Johnson’s Bill Reyner mystery adventure series, bringing readers’ favorite sleuth back for another adventure.  Although he is ostensibly going on holiday to a hunting lodge in northern Ontario, Bill inevitably gets caught in the midst of a dangerous plot, discovering that his destination is not the paradise that he had anticipated.

When Bill orders room service from a beautiful Chinese girl named Tan Chu, he quickly becomes embroiled in a dastardly game of Lions and Christians.  Although he is only given murky details from Tan Chu, the hotel staff and the other guests quickly fill in the missing gaps of the story, making it clear that they are in the business of procuring humans for their guests to hunt, showing a shocking lack of regard for human life—as evidenced in the manner in which they speak about the huntees, using terms like “dispose of,” “bother,” “mess,” and “unfortunate spillage” to describe the deaths of their human prey. 

Bill presses Tan Chu for more details and she finally tells him everything; the participants call those that they kill Christians and those that kill, Lions, “because they sometimes feed live people to the real lions.”  Bill cannot help but wonder what kind of hell he has stumbled upon as he carefully constructs a plan to take the entire operation down while protecting his new girlfriend.

This fifth Bill Reyner novel is everything that readers have come to expect from the series. Exciting, suspenseful, and page-turning, readers will be at the edges of their seats as the action unfolds and the stakes of the game are raised; truly, a journey of plot twist after plot twist.  Lions and Christians inevitably leaves readers anxious for the next installment of the spellbinding Bill Reyner series, The Canadian.