Fractured family life, distrust in organized religion, pervasive graft and backroom politics–all of these are factors in modern life in the United States and all are factors that will lead to increases in cult activity, according to Howard F. Clarke, author of the just-released novel, “The Key of Solomon: A Novel of the Last Days.” Recent polls reflect growing disatisfaction with mainstream religion and church attendence is at a low, says Mr. Clarke. “But the search for spiritual growth will continue,” the author points out. “It will just grow in the wrong direction…like a cancer.”
If this sounds ominous, it matches the mood and shadowy goings-on in the thriller, “The Key of Solomon: A Novel of the Last Days,” (available solely through Amazon.com). In this epic thriller, the author’s hero, Jack Salter, is a police consultant brought to New Mexico to fight a powerful secret organization that utilizes an obsessively stringent approach to the occult–coupled with political schemes that will please the most ardent conspiracy theorist. The story involves a Jewish antiquarian (a rare book collector), a militant Baptist preacher who is expert in cult activity, and a host of treacherous villains. It also includes a look at Navajo folklore and culture as a reservation deputy is caught between Salter and the bad guys.
It’s clear that some heavy cult research has been applied to the story. At one point in the novel, Salter finds that some cults have blended in almost invisibly with mainstream Christian groups. “You’re joking,” Salter says, but the cult expert solemnly replies that it is no joke…and neither is the threat of cults to our society, according the the book’s author.