Saturday, 25 February 2017

Escape from Hell, by Shervin Jamali - a review

The Blurb
In the sequel to "The Devil's Lieutenant," Michael rides again. He may have discovered a loophole that will allow him to break his allegiance to Satan and finally be reunited with his family. But at what cost? He begins yet another nightmarish journey, perhaps even more heart-breaking than his last, as he seeks redemption and a chance to hold his wife and his son in his arms once again.

Warning: This book contains graphic violence and profanity.

The Review
After reading the first instalment of Shervin Jamali's account of Michael's descent into Hell - The Devil's Lieutenant (review here ), I couldn't wait to get stuck into the sequel. Escape from Hell is written in the same gritty first person narrative of its predecessor, as we enter the head and heart and nightmarish existence of Michael, now resident in Hell doing Satan's bidding. Michael's sole raison d'etre is to one day be reunited with his wife and child in Heaven. Whilst wandering the bowels of Hell as his master sleeps, Michael stumbles upon Raphael, a long term denzien of Hell. From Raphael, Michael learns of a way of escaping his prison, but like everything Michael endures, it is never straightforward.

What raises this series above others of a similar type are the moral ambiguities Michael has to face. There is an old psychology experiment to assess a child's development. Simplified, it goes thus: The assessor offers a child a choice of one doughnut now, or to wait a specified length of time and receive two. To receive two doughnuts, the child has to endure a time without any, with only the promise of satisfaction at the end of it. But, endure he must, if he wants the greater reward.The developmental level of the child dictates the result. Michael faces similar quandries. His sole aim is to find a way to enter Heaven and reunite with his son and his wife. He could give up and resign himself to his fate, or he could do Satan's horrific bidding on the promise he will one day see his loved ones again. But that bidding, the suffering Michael has to impart along the way, mostly to deserving cases, but sometimes not, are agonising to read.

Michael is a broken man. But Michael is a good man. And you can never underestimate the bad a good man will do to achieve justifiable ends.

Escape from Hell is available from Amazon UK  here and from Amazon US here


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