Who doesn’t love a good possession story? I was sold when I first read William Peter Blatty’s novel The Exorcist (1971, William Peter Blatty). I slept with the lights and the closet doors open for a week. It ticked off my parents. I had to read it when I found Joshua Graham’s novella The Accidental Exorcist (2013, Joshua Graham) on Amazon.com. My favorite quote from the book:
The Accidental Exorcist (Accidental, Book 3)
BY JOSHUA GRAHAM
Dawn Trader Press, September 13, 2013
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Pie Jesu Domine, Dona eis Requiem, Requiem sempiternam.
About Joshua Graham
The Accidental Exorcist Synopsis
California forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abigail Lee is used to interviewing murder suspects who are going for the not guilty because of insanity plea but are more than likely guilty of the crime. Rarely does she find a suspect truly criminally insane, yet she always hears them out. Abby rethinks her ideas about the insane and the guilty after interviewing Cheryl Morgan, a mother of three who admits killing her children but doesn’t know why. During the interview, Cheryl’s demeanor transforms from a woman wrought with guilt and anger to something wicked and unfamiliar. Despite her fears, Abby decides Cheryl’s actions are not unusual. Abby has seen many personae emerge during interviews in the legitimately insane and those who faked it. Still, Abby felt like something was disturbing about Cheryl that she had not seen before. Cheryl is eventually acquitted of her crimes.
About two years after her release, Cheryl is tied to another murder. Abby, who thinks of herself as open-minded in her pursuit of knowledge, decides to research all possible explanations for Cheryl’s strange behavior. In her search for a rational explanation, Abby discovers much more going on with Cheryl than insanity. Torn between her belief in scientific facts and her faith, Abby must battle her demons before she can help Cheryl.
The Accidental Exorcist Book Review
The Accidental Exorcist has multiple strengths for sure. Graham’s description of possession—transforming one’s soul from innocence to profound evil—is superb. I found myself creeped out by Cheryl’s transformation from a sad and confused woman to that of the powerful and dominating Legion. Graham’s descriptive scenes capture the helplessness and the total despair of those haunted by demons and the awakening of non-believers.
Minor characters like Freidrich Koehler, the professor at UCSD, and Sergeant Grimes, the correctional officer, set the stage for the following actions. I felt emotionally attached to Abby as she pursued Cheryl’s case. I fought with her as she struggled to accept and embrace a reality other than one grounded in scientific fact. The story opens with a short prelude followed by non-stop action that continues until the end of the story. I was wrapped up in each scene, completely captivated but wanting more. My only criticism is that The Accidental Exorcist is too short. The background, the characters, and the scenes that lead to Abby’s awakening deserve a much larger stage. Still, The Accidental Exorcist is an excellent read for occult fiction enthusiasts.
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