In this chilling, psychological thriller, Brian Evenson delivers with cold precision the tale of a provost from the Corporation of the Blood of the Lamb and his affection—an unholy predilection—for children. The provost's sickness emerges deliberately, and the reader is drawn into the disturbing inner workings of a violent pedophile.
The provost's perverse actions speak for themselves. In this cautionary tale, Evenson exposes the rigid and insular religious community that protects one of its own—an upstanding cleric, a man of God—at the expense of the victims: children from the provost's congregation. In an effort to keep scandal at arm's length, the Church unknowingly, then blindly, gives the provost carte blanche to continue his sordid relations with children.
Evenson holds the reader to the page until the novel's fatal end. En route, he calls to question whether obedience to faith justifies taking every liberty. And he brings to light how a religious institution can be as eager as its secular counterpart to soil its hands for the cause of supposed righteousness.
"Father of Lies is a remarkable book, with enormous potential to inflame—not antagonize, although that will be an organic consequence—to set the kind of fire without which no institutional injustice can ever be incinerated. I admire Evenson's writing and respect his courage. Father of Lies is quite amazing. As will be the response."
"Brian Evenson has vividly evoked in his first novel the collective portrait of a church father gone mad, and the relentless and unrepentant institution that, hiding behind its own robes of authority, follows him spiraling downward to a harrowingly successful doom. A disturbing, engaging book."
"Brian Evenson has written a book of extraordinary power and complexity. While it may be tempting (and comforting) to read Father of Lies 'merely' as an indictment of corruption in the Mormon Church, in fact Evenson's concerns go much deeper, probing at the horror and violence that lie between faith and despair. Like Poe, a writer he evokes, Evenson places the reader directly at the center of the madness, then (like Poe) doesn't light the exits. We are forced to face for ourselves the kinds of questions we like to think only monsters are required to answer, and in the end, Evenson has the courage to suggest that those answers are a complex and profoundly impossible as the questions themselves. Father of Lies is a remarkable book."