Gehenna: a novel of Hell and Earth

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About Gehenna: a novel of Hell and Earth

DCI Alexander thinks of his job as debunking supposedly occult or supernatural crimes by subjecting them to rational police procedure. But his own demons are not so easily dispelled; he’s not even going to mention them to his psychiatrist. Then a mysterious woman contacts Alexander via an author of his acquaintance. At her request, the author guides Alexander on a journey through Hell… Dante’s Hell seen through the prism of modern Glasgow. The tortured souls he encounters there include historical figures and characters from literature as well as those he knows from his own world, all suffering horribly imaginative and fitting punishments for their sins. Even when he returns periodically to the world of mortals, Alexander struggles to get a grip on reality. He is unsettled by an outbreak of freakishly bad behaviour among schoolchildren almost as much as he is by a chilling murder. His domestic life is also chaotic, as he struggles to discipline his own young daughter Morgan and puts off the question of where things are going with his girlfriend and junior colleague Karen.

What Alexander sees in Hell challenges his personal and professional intuitions about morality and justice. He begins to wonder where precisely he would end up if, just for the sake of argument, he were condemned to Hell. It’s a game we can all play. But the author is not guiding Alexander through Hell for fun. Who is the mysterious woman, and why did she commission him?

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