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Satan's Scat

Clarion Review (3 Stars)

In this second installment of Shawna Ryan’s Destiny’s Damned series, our heroes, Alicia, Patrick, Kevin, and Alex, work to uncover the truth about the New Testament—namely, that it’s a fictional work created by a Pagan in order to enslave the world.

Of course, the Catholic Church isn’t too happy about their work and might have something to do with the attempts on their lives and those close to them that occur as the story unfolds. Despite the immediate similarities to the works of Dan Brown, Ryan has created a truly thrilling and entertaining series that is as original and insightful as anything in the genre. Ryan’s style of writing is far more straightforward and less complex than most mystery and thriller writers, but her prose is inspired and carefully penned, making the story easily enjoyable for all readers.

Set largely in Ireland, the story offers detailed and accurate descriptions of many real locations, such as the library at Dublin’s Trinity College and the Abbey of St. Ide located in the Burren on the west coast. Ryan hits the nail on the head with her wonderfully layered and detailed descriptions. Setting the story in Ireland offers myriad ideas, locations, events, and even characters that help mold the story into another stunning thriller by this talented writer.

The protagonists find themselves in a variety of colorful situations: Alicia joins a convent in order to help bring the church down from the inside, while Kevin and Alex work closely with librarian Mrs. Shanahan in the moody and atmospheric Old Library in Dublin. The situations abound with Sherlock Holmes-esque moods and settings, while the storytelling moves forward with careful planning. Everything is kept tight and intact in this story, as multiple storylines unfold in each chapter and allow the entire work to come together in a climax that will have readers scrambling for the third installment in the series.

The only real downsides are the unprofessional cover and the lack of dialect employed by some of the characters. The story would have been more believable and entertaining if the Irish characters spoke as if they were actually from Ireland. Nevertheless, Satan’s Scat is a solid historical thriller.

Liam Brennan