Monday, March 06, 2006

Tracy Groot's, Madman ~ reviewed

*Title: Madman
*Author: Tracy Groot
*Paperback, 350 pages
*Publisher: Moody Publishing
*ISBN: 0802463622
*Release: April, 2006

Reviewed by~ Cheryl Russell

Book Description:

Tallis, servant to the Greek philosopher Callimachus, is sent to Palestine to check on the Decaphiloi-the League of Ten Friends-and the Academy of Socrates in Palestine, a Greek academy. Both were founded, and funded by, his master. Instead of an academy, he finds fear and silence. The Decaphiloi and the academy vanished three years ago, even though Callimachus received regular progress reports until a few months ago.

Of the League of Ten Friends, six have vanished. Of the four that can be accounted for: one was murdered in a macabre fashion, one is now a priestess to the god Dionysus, another committed suicide and the last, the brightest of them all, is now a madman, living in the Gerasene tombs.

Tallis is determined to find out what happened to the Decaphiloi and the academy. His search forces him to face long suppressed memories of his own horrifying past. Memories that re-awaken an evil and threaten to make Tallis a madman as well. But failure to conquer the demons of his past will result in the brutal death of the Zagreus, the child that lives at the same inn as Tallis, and reminds him of his now dead younger brother.

The basis for the book is the Gerasene demonic, mentioned in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. Tracy Groot does a good job taking the reader into the mind of the insane man, showing us his never-ending agony. Her meticulous research into ancient Palestine is also evident, even though it is sometimes a little hard to figure out some of the ancient terms. But that research also shines through in her treatment of the god Dionysus and his followers, a theme that weaves itself throughout the story. Random points of view shifts are a little disconcerting, but overall, the Madman is a nice read.

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