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Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite
Perfect Prophet by Diane M. Johnson opens with disbelief from Alexander the Great – Alec Lowell, death-metal guitarist. He was playing on stage, so he cannot, simply cannot, be bleeding from a bullet wound in his chest, but he is, and he collapses before anybody can call 911. Far away in Wisconsin, Belinda, emergency room nurse and ex-girlfriend, catches television coverage of the shooting in a Los Angeles nightclub and flies to his side. She brings memories of his former life and love, and the news that he has a son, Jake. The paparazzi claim a miracle when Alec survives, but they wait in vain for the re-emergence of an anti-Christ rebel; Alec too believes in a miracle – a God-given second chance to make peace with the family he rejected, but what are the dark secrets his overtly religious father is hiding?
Perfect Prophet opens with dramatic action, and then goes into a long, vivid flashback: the formation of the band, when Alec takes a back seat to his sexy lover Cleo, and then he is drawn into the drink, cigarettes, and drugs culture of underground Los Angeles. A self-declared atheist, Alexander the Great embraces what Belinda and his family back home rejected. Nothing about this hedonistic lifestyle prepares him for a public declaration of faith in God despite those prepared to crucify him, or the fatherhood of his beloved Jake. Diane M. Johnson has delved deep into the darkness beneath the showbiz glitz and twisted, corrupted religion in Perfect Prophet and produced a powerful psychological thriller.